A flood is an overflow of water
that submerges land that is
Floods are an area of study of
the discipline hydrology and
are of significant concern in
agriculture, civil engineering
and public health.
Contemporary picture of the flood that struck the North
Sea coast of Germany and Denmark in October 1634.
OVERFLOW OR ACCUMULATION
Flooding may occur as an overflow
of water from water bodies, such as
a river, lake, or ocean, in which the
water overtops or breaks levees,
resulting in some of that water
escaping its usual boundaries.
It may also occur due to an
accumulation of rainwater on
saturated ground in an areal flood.
People seeking refuge from flood in Jawa
Tengah, Java. ca. 1865–1876.
ADVANTAGES AND DISADVANTAGES
Floods often cause damage to homes
and businesses if they are in the
natural flood plains of rivers.
While riverine flood damage can be
eliminated by moving away from
rivers and other bodies of water,
people have traditionally lived and
worked by rivers because the land is
usually flat and fertile and because
rivers provide easy travel and access
to commerce and industry.
Some floods develop slowly, while others such as flash
floods, can develop in just a few minutes and without
visible signs of rain.
Floods can be local, impacting a neighbourhood or
community, or very large, affecting entire river basins
(like the Amazon Basin in Brazil).
Areal flooding begins in flat areas like floodplains and in local depressions
not connected to a stream channel.
Floods can happen on flat or low-lying areas when water is supplied by
rainfall or snowmelt more rapidly than it can either infiltrate or run off.
The excess accumulates in place.
Surface soil can become saturated, which effectively stops infiltration.
Infiltration also is very slow through frozen ground, rock, concrete,
paving, or roofs.
RIVERINE FLOODS (CHANNEL)
Floods occur in all types of river and stream channels, from the smallest
streams in humid zones to normally-dry channels in arid climates to the
world's largest rivers.
Localized flooding may be caused by drainage obstructions such as
landslides, ice, debris, or beaver dams.
The increase in flow may be the result of sustained rainfall, rapid snow
melt, monsoons, or tropical cyclones.
Coastal areas may be flooded by storm events at
sea, resulting in waves over-topping defences or in
severe cases by tsunami or tropical cyclones.
A storm surge, from either a tropical cyclone or an
extratropical cyclone, falls within this category.
Urban flooding is the inundation of land or property in
a built environment, particularly in more densely
populated areas, caused by rainfall overwhelming the
capacity of drainage systems, such as storm sewers.
Catastrophic riverine flooding is usually associated with major
infrastructure failures such as the collapse of a dam, but they may also
be caused by drainage channel modification from a landslide,
earthquake or volcanic eruption.
Examples include outburst floods and lahars.
Tsunamis can cause catastrophic coastal flooding, most commonly
resulting from undersea earthquakes.
DEADLIEST FLOODS IN HISTORY
1. China Floods from 1931 – 3.7 million death toll
2. China Floods from 1887 – 2 million death toll
3. China Floods from 1938 – 700.000 death toll