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What are the causes and effects of river flooding in the USA and Bangladesh? How successful have these countries been in managing the flood hazard?

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Introduction

What are the causes and effects of river flooding in the USA and Bangladesh? How successful have these countries been in managing the flood hazard? Flooding is an overflowing of a body of water onto normally dry land. Flooding is one of the most widespread of climatic hazards and poses multiple risks to human health. The Mississippi river is in the USA which is an MEDC (more economically developed country.) It is the second-longest river in the United States; the longest is the Missouri River, which flows into the Mississippi. Taken together, they form the largest river system in North America. If measured from the head of the Missouri, the length of the Missouri/Mississippi combination is approximately 6,270 km (3,900 miles). The largest of many large tributaries on the river is the Ohio River. Bangladesh is between India and Myanmar. It is an LEDC (less economically developed country.) The rivers of Bangladesh mark both the physiography of the nation and the life of the people. ...read more.

Middle

There were 43 deaths and cleaning-up operations took months. The contents of houses, factories and the buildings themselves were ruined. Boat traffic along the river had to be stopped. Where sewage had been washed into waterways, there was a threat of disease. Stagnant water attracted mosquitoes and rats. Insurance claims were high and numerous. At the peak of the Bangladesh flood of 1988, it covered almost 70% of the country and affected 2/3 of the population. After the flood, only tops of trees and buildings could be seen. In the capital city Dhaka, the water was 2m deep and covered 3/4 of the city. The electricity was cut off for weeks and there was no safe drinking water. 7 million homes were destroyed and 25 million people were left homeless. There were shortages of food and medicine there were 1300 deaths. 2 million tonnes of rice was destroyed and 1/2 million cattle and poultry were lost. The total cost of damages was $1.5 million. ...read more.

Conclusion

The embankments along all the main river channels will be completed to a height of up to 7m. More than 7500km of embankment is already in place, but repairs, heightening and new building would cost over $6 billion. This scheme should prevent serious flooding from river overflow. The USA is an MEDC, so they can afford to try out new ideas whether they succeed or not. However, Bangladesh is an LEDC, so everything must be thought about carefully or they will suffer from devastating debts. In the US, the rescue services are well equipped and prepared, but in Bangladesh, they aren't so well equipped and prepared. In the US, building levees and other things that prevent floods or reduce the damage they have caused, won't take very long to build. But in Bangladesh, it could take up to 100 years. In the US, flood warning systems can be made public knowledge within a short amount of time because of newspapers and TV. However, in Bangladesh, not a lot of people have these things so it is harder for the public to find out the plans for their area. Khadija Jama 10BS ...read more.

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