Flooding: The Causes and Consequences of the Water-Based Hazard

FloodIng: The Causes and Consequences of the Water-Based Hazard

A flood is more than just that little pool of water that gathers around your house. It is more than the gently overflowing drainage in your area. Even though those are some of the indications of flooding, it is much more serious than that.

Taking a glance at what Wikipedia has to say, flooding is described as the ‘submerging’ of an area of ‘usually dry land’ under water. Of course, that is not something that happens every day.

Floods do not always bring concerns with them – as is with the case with the two leading scenarios presented. When they do though, the problems can lead to as much as loss of lives. That is when they become hazards.

Causes of Flooding

Flooding does not just come to be of its own volition. Looking at a number of areas prone to this environmental hazard, the talking points when it comes to causes are:

1 Rains

Floods are a literary representation of the saying ‘When it rains, it pours.’

Rains don’t single-handedly cause floods though. Otherwise, we would have floods everywhere whenever there is a rain.

What causes the flood is usually a combination of rainfall with a poor/ inadequate drainage system, causing the excess water to flow on land rather than seep off via the appropriate means.

2 River Overflows

Areas with rivers are usually no strangers to severe cases of flooding. When it rains, there is the tendency of the water levels to rise. Since the river is incapable of holding all the water, it seeks help from the neighboring lands by shelling off the excess volume to them.

The result is a submersion of large volumes of land under water. In other words, flooding occurs

3 Strong Winds

It is almost impossible to believe that winds can transport water but that is the cause of most flooding problems in coastal areas. When strong coastal winds blow, they tend to move water from the sea onto normally dry land.

The case is made even worse when the winds carry rain with them too. Left unchecked for long, it is not uncommon that this leads to a more severe case dubbed ‘tsunami’

4 Ice caps

Constant melting of the ice caps also does a lot to contribute to the water level, causing water bodies to encroach onto land.

5 Flooding

Perhaps the least common but equally serious cause of the flooding is dam breakages.

It would almost be rude to the subject if we don’t include the effects of human activities on the promotion of flooding. Deforestation, land clearing and river embankments are just some of the ways we also contribute to the risks of flooding.

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