A flood is a natural calamity. It is a great devil for us Bangladesh, being a low-lying riparian country, falls victim to floods almost every year. Due to excessive rainfall, when rivers and canals overflow their banks and make a huge loss to crops and property, it is called a flood. The causes of floods are many. Bangladesh is a tropical and lowland country. This country faces floods every year. Neighboring India is also a huge responsibility for this. In the rain-falling season, India opens its switch gate and that’s why the water level gets increases in Bangladesh. Flood has been a common problem here. Some of the major floods have taken thousands of lives. Every year, the country has to face a huge crisis of food and relief help for the people to become flood victims. Another important thing is the cities in the country are not planned at all. There is no proper water drainage system. So when they face heavy rainfall, the water is stuck in the same place and makes a little flood. Millions of people become homeless because of a heavy flood in this country. A huge amount of domestic animals die and people lose their property for good. The government tries its best to help people with food and medicine. But still, a lot of people die because of different types of waterborne diseases. People try to live in some temporary shelters built by them or some volunteers. Overall the flood problem in Bangladesh is a crucial problem. There is no way to get rid of it.
Flood in Bangladesh
Bangladesh is a land of many rivers, and as a result, it is very prone to flooding due to being situated on the Brahmaputra River Delta (also known as the Ganges Delta) and the many distributaries flowing into the Bay of Bengal. Due to being part of such a basin and being less than 5 meters above mean sea level, Bangladesh faces the cumulative effects of floods due to water flashing from nearby hills, the accumulation of the inflow of water from upstream catchments, and locally heavy rainfall enhanced by drainage congestion. Bangladesh faces this problem almost every year. Coastal flooding, combined with the bursting of river banks is common, and severely affects the landscape and society of Bangladesh. 80% of Bangladesh is floodplain and it has an extensive sea coastline, rendering the nation very much at risk of periodic widespread damage. Whilst more permanent defenses, strengthened with reinforced concrete, are being built, many embankments are composed purely of soil and turf and made by local farmers. Flooding normally occurs during the monsoon season from June to September. The convectional rainfall of the monsoon is added to by relief rainfall caused by the Himalayas. Meltwater from the Himalayas is also a significant input. The country has a long history of destructive flooding that has had very adverse impacts on lives and property. In the 19th century, six major floods were recorded: 1842, 1858, 1871, 1875, 1885, and 1892. Eighteen major floods occurred in the 20th century. Those of 1951, 1987, 1988, and 1998 were of catastrophic consequence. More recent floods include 2004 and 2010. The catastrophic floods of 1987 occurred throughout July and August and affected 57,300 square kilometers (22,100 sq mi) of land, (about 40% of the total area of the country) and were estimated as a once-in-30-70-year event. The seriously affected regions were on the western side of the Brahmaputra, the area below the confluence of the Ganges and the Brahmaputra, and considerable areas north of Khulna. History of a flood: The flood of 1988, which was also of catastrophic consequence, occurred throughout August and September. The waters inundated about 82,000 square kilometers (32,000 sq mi) of land, (about 60% of the area) and its return period was estimated at 50–100 years. Rainfall together with synchronization of very high flows of the three major rivers of the country in only three days aggravated the flood. Dhaka, the capital of Bangladesh, was severely affected. The flood lasted 15 to 20 days. In 1998, over 75% of the total area of the country was flooded, including half of Dhaka. It was similar to the catastrophic flood of 1988, in terms of the extent of the flooding. A combination of heavy rainfall within and outside the country and synchronization of peak flows of the major rivers contributed to the flood. 30 million people were made homeless and the death toll reached over a thousand. The flooding caused contamination of crops and animals and unclean water resulted in cholera and typhoid outbreaks. Few hospitals were functional because of damage from the flooding, and those that were open had too many patients, resulting in everyday injuries becoming fatal due to lack of treatment. 700,000 hectares of crops were destroyed,400 factories were forced to close, and there was a 20% decrease in economic production. Communication within the country also became difficult. The 1999 floods, although not as serious as the 1998 floods, were still very dangerous and costly. The floods occurred between July and September, causing many deaths, and leaving many people homeless. The extensive damage had to be paid for with foreign assistance. The entire flood lasted approximately 65 days. The 2004 flood was very similar to the 1988 and 1998 floods with two-thirds of the country under water. In early October 2005, dozens of villages were inundated when rain caused the rivers of northwestern Bangladesh to burst their banks. The floods that hit Bangladesh in 2007 affected 252 villages in 40 districts causing millions of people to become homeless. Floods also occurred in 2015 and 2017.
Types of floods
While the issue of flooding and the ongoing efforts to limit its damages are prevalent throughout the entire country, several types of floods have recently occurred regularly, affecting different areas in their own distinct way. These flood types include: flash floods in hilly areas monsoon floods during monsoon season normal bank floods from the major rivers, Brahmaputra, Ganges, and Meghna rain-fed floods. Flood preparation Yearly flooding during monsoon season and other forms of inclement weather has forced the people of Bangladesh to adjust their lifestyles in order to prepare for the worst. One thing that people are doing to avoid the effects of the flooding is building elevated houses and roads. The raised houses are built on platforms raised above the typical water level a flood can reach. In many cases, neighborhoods of people build these raised homes and roads, creating a “cluster village” which is essentially a village that is raised above flood level. This has proven to be very effective at avoiding the immediate effects of flooding. Additionally, organizations such as the Global Fund for Children and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation have taken the initiative of helping kids rebuild their lives after natural disasters by building schools that function on boats themselves. “Floating schools”, as these classrooms are known, help provide an education for children whose lives were drastically affected by the effects of constant flooding. Furthermore, children who even prior to a natural disaster did not receive proper schooling benefited from the opening of floating schools, making these communities into beneficial learning spots. However, there are effects of flooding that cannot be avoided simply by raising houses above flood level. Water contamination, for example, is very difficult to cope with during floods. Because of this, many people in Bangladesh use a tube well, which is a well with a top that is raised high enough that contaminated flood water from a flood cannot enter it. Many cities also have flood shelters, which are large raised platforms where people can find refuge from the effects of the on-rushing flood. As a result of several demanding summer floods, in 2004, the government of Bangladesh made the step of seeking foreign aid rather than trying to assist the millions of homeless people on their own. Nearly all the 147 million people living in Bangladesh at the time (crammed into a space the size of Iowa) were forced to adapt to intense rainfall and water-borne disease-exposed conditions. An increase in salinity, a lack of food distributors, and the effects of seeing slum dwellers survive on flood water were just the initial blows to a monumental flood season that summer, extending beyond Bangladesh’s borders and affecting India, China, Nepal, and Vietnam as well. These may be great solutions to the problem of flooding, but some cities do not have raised houses or flood shelters. These cities typically have rescue boats that can search for people who were unable to get above flood level and help them get out of the water. These boats are very important; they rescue over a thousand people over the course of multiple years. Flood shelter suitability areas in Bangladesh
Causes of Flood
Flooding is experienced all over the globe and for a variety of reasons — but why exactly does flooding occur? There are several human causes of flooding, including poorly designed infrastructure. There are also natural reasons flooding happens. Here are eight of the most common causes of flooding, both natural and human-induced. And the consequences of flooding can be savage. 1. Heavy Rains The simplest explanation for flooding is heavy rains. No matter where you live, you are surrounded by infrastructure and systems designed to move rainwater into appropriate basins and reservoirs. In most cases, the infrastructure does its job, and you never have to think about where the rain goes when it runs off. When it rains heavily, however, those systems are overwhelmed, and that water doesn’t drain nearly as quickly as it needs to. In short, the drainage systems back up, and the water rises — sometimes into homes. This typically happens only in cases of sustained heavy rains over a long period. 2. Overflowing Rivers You do not necessarily need to have heavy rains to experience flooding in your area. For example, if you live along a river and areas upstream from you experience heavy rains, it could lead to a serious overflow where you live. Most larger rivers include a series of dams to help manage large amounts of rainfall, and most river systems are managed by government authorities. Sometimes, however, those authorities have to make tough decisions about how to operate dams. They often can manage the water and prevent flooding altogether — but not always. 3. Broken Dams Much of America’s infrastructure was built in the 20th century, so it is getting old. When heavy rains come, and water levels rise, aging dams can fail and unleash torrents of water on unsuspecting households. This is part of what happened after Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans in 2005. Levees failed and made the flooding far worse than it would have been otherwise. While we have come to depend on 20th-century architecture, and much of it does its job well, there is always a possibility that a structure will fail. 4. Urban Drainage Basins Many of our cities are made of mostly concrete and other impermeable materials. When you have an urban drainage basin that is made of concrete, there is no ground for water to sink into. So, when those drainage basins fill up, it is going to mean flooding for low-lying areas. This is mostly the case in large urban areas — think Houston and Los Angeles. When heavy rains strike, the basins used to drain them cannot always handle the load. 5. Storm Surges and Tsunamis Rain is not always the culprit when it comes to flooding. Storm surges related to hurricanes and other storms can lead to significant flooding, as can tsunamis that are sometimes caused by underwater earthquakes. Given modern technology, we often know about storm surges and tsunamis before they arrive, but this is not always the case. For example, in 2004, an earthquake off the coast of Indonesia created a tsunami that gave little warning before coming ashore. 6. Channels with Steep Sides Flooding often occurs when there is fast runoff into lakes, rivers and other reservoirs. This is often the case with rivers and other channels that feature steep sides. It is a similar issue to having a lack of vegetation, which is explained in more detail below. 7. A Lack of Vegetation Vegetation can help slow runoff and prevent flooding. When there is a lack of vegetation, however, there is little to stop water from running off. This can be a bit of a conundrum after a drought. While area residents likely welcome the rain, the lack of vegetation after the drought can cause flash flooding. This does not always happen given that basins and reservoirs are close to empty, but it can occur in cases of extreme rains following long periods of drought.
Consequences Of Flood
Floods may really seem like the end of times. A great flood can take away lives and properties in an instant. This century has undergone severe global warming which has increased the occurrence of weather-related disasters. The past decade has witnessed the Indian tsunami which sunk parts of Asia and took lives in a matter of minutes. Recovering from a flood disaster can be a long process that requires understanding and evaluating the consequences of flooding and the rebuilding of infrastructures and healing of trauma. The consequences of flooding can be devastating. Flooding immediately destroys lives and properties. The flood effect can change the feature of land areas permanently. The most immediate flood effect would be the destruction of homes. People get displaced and may have to evacuate to higher ground where their lives are at risk as long as the waters remain on a certain level. The causes and consequences of floods affect not just people but the environment. The destruction of structures such as bridges and roads adds to the human toll and prevents help from reaching devastated areas. Structures such as nuclear power plants are also put at risk. In 2011, a tsunami hit the coastline in Japan causing leakage in nuclear plants. There was high radiation recorded in the area and authorities feared the worst. Many people including animals are affected by the flood. Floods affect are expensive disasters and rebuilding an area devastated by a flood can be costly. Rivers that overflow can also cause water to rise in an area. A dam breaking and snow melting also cause floods. Earthquakes, which presage tsunamis can cause massive flooding in coastal areas. Damage caused by floods Damages caused by floods is immediate. Lives are lost, properties are destroyed and if rural areas are hit crops are destroyed. Flooding causes severe damage, disrupts economic processes, and causes a food shortage. The consequences of flooding on property value will cause areas that continue to have flooding problems to have a decrease in real estate value. There will be areas that are more prone to flooding issues. The flood problems in these areas increase the already degraded state of their environment. Flooding impact, especially in urban areas, is enormous. People may have to get stranded during the commute and get stuck for hours. The flood destruction in cities disrupts business, commerce, and tourism. Flooding causes and effects have far-reaching consequences. There are times of the year when floods are more likely to occur due to hurricanes and typhoons. Flooding issues include families being displaced resulting in trauma. Mental health professionals should be part of the emergency response team to help people deal with the consequences of the loss of property and loved ones. Long-term challenges may include having to deal with the loss of livelihood and property. Individuals affected need to rebuild their lives and possessions. Government help is needed in disseminating aid and repairing structures that can help a community recover. Environmental impact of flooding The environment can get severely devastated by a flood. Flood is mainly dirty water that carries waterborne diseases and possibly chemicals that can affect the quality of soil in the environment. The water supply in an area may get polluted by flood water resulting in diseases and epidemics. When there is too much rainwater, especially after seasonal rainfalls the water in the river overflows and travels to the surrounding land or area. Places near rivers and bodies of water are always at risk of floods. Like people, animals can get displaced during a flood. Many animals die during a flood because their habitats have been destroyed. Pests and wild animals such as snakes may migrate to densely populated areas and cause much havoc. In such cases, you may need a pro exterminator to get rid of those animals. Loss of lives and property Effect of flooding on property value can cause real estate in an area to plummet. In cities and residential areas, the first thing that people look for is safe disaster-free areas that are not near earthquake zones or prone to flooding. There are zones or areas that are more susceptible.
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