A large amount of water covering a dry area of land is known as ‘flood’. In other words, a flood is an overflow of water that submerges land, which is usually dry. Floods are a natural occurrence. They benefit humanity by forming alluvial soil but they also cause tremendous destruction to human life and property.
Floods are a natural disaster that take place regularly in some or the other part of the world. When they are expected, they do not cause much harm. In flood prone areas, people are prepared. However, when floods are not expected, they cause severe misery to life and property. The tremendous rush of water destroys and carries away the houses, trees, soil, men and animals. It floods large areas under cultivation. Public services come to a standstill. It makes life difficult and miserable. However, flooding can spread nutrients to lakes and rivers, which can lead to increase in plants, animals and improved fisheries for a few years.
The primary effects of flooding include loss of life, damage to buildings and other structures, including bridges, sewerage systems, roadways and railways. Floods frequently damages power transmission, which leads to loss of electricity. They also result in loss of drinking water due to severe water contamination. Floodwater makes the land unusable and prevents crops from being planted or harvested. This leads to shortages of food for both humans and animals. Entire harvests for a country or that particular part of the country can be lost in extreme flood conditions.
Floods have always brought out the best in men. Men organize rescue teams and arrange relief for victims whom they do not know and from whom they expect no personal gain. Charitable organisations arrange relief camps and provide food, medicines and other facilities. At the same time, floods also bring out the worst in men. Some people and officials try to fill their pockets at the cost of the sufferings of victims. They make collections in the name of relief and use funds for personal benefits.
The increasing incidence of floods can be brought down by constructing dams. Moreover, afforestation must be encouraged in the areas where rainwater flows directly into a particular river or lake. Preventive measures of floods can be undertaken by the Government alone, as it requires large sum of money and work force. However, common people too can contribute at individual level by planting trees and preventing deforestation.