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All About Floods

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All About Floods - Lesson Summary

Floods occur when land gets submerged under water due to various causes like excessive rain, overflowing rivers, increase in water in reservoirs, cyclones, tsunami, sea tides and melting of glaciers. Floods caused by cloud bursts, bursting of dams, or tsunamis are called flash floods.

Flooding damages crops and this leads to a shortage of food. Shortage of drinking water also arises as the sources of fresh water get contaminated by the flood water, causing epidemics.

Any flood is preceded by a threat period known as the Probability Period. This allows the authorities to issue warnings and plan evacuation. In India, the Central Water Commission has 132 forecasting stations covering all inter-state flood prone rivers.

Steps to be taken before floods to reduce the damage:
  • Mapping of major rivers, their flood plains and basins
  • Construction of artificial embankments like dikes and levees to divert flood water
  • Stream behaviour should also be studied for charting of rivers and other water bodies
  • Artificial reservoirs with sluice gates and sand bags to be built to block the flow of water
  • Low grounds or viaducts can be created to carry water in a certain direction or underground
  • Trees should be planted in the catchment areas to stop soil erosion
  • In case of an impending flood, all attention should be paid towards the safety of dams. Encroachments of human settlements on river banks should also be prevented.

Precautions in case of floods:
  • Rush to high and safe places and ensure to have clean drinking water
  • Do not drive if water levels are rising in an area
  • Keep away from rivers, dams and bridges during floods
  • Clean and disinfect the houses
  • Get medical help in case of water borne disease
  • Injured or sick animals should be treated by veterinarians
  • Plant more trees to prevent floods


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