India being a country of many rivers and with tropical climate is one of the most flood-prone countries of the world. Floods are frequent because most of the rivers are full of water during monsoons.
Flooding is caused by the inadequate capacity within the banks of the rivers to contain the high flow of water due to heavy rainfall. Areas having poor drainage get flooded by accumulation of water.
Apart from loss of lives of humans and cattle, every year land area is affected by the floods, accompanied by damage to the crops, houses and public utilities.
Preventive Measures and Management
The following steps may be taken to prevent damage due to floods:
- No construction should be allowed in the river beds.
- Timely cleaning and desilting of water channels and reservoirs by civic agencies.
- Safe disposal of surplus run-off water from river to river and drain to drain to ensure easy flow of water.
- Buildings like public institutes, schools, offices, telephone exchange, power supply stations, railway tracks and stations, roads and residential areas need to be built above levels that correspond to floods occurring in the past few years.
- Constructing flood proof buildings.
- Local community as well as authorities needs to have a ready plan for evacuation. It is important to identify an evacuation center in the flood-prone area and give it publicity so that people can move there in emergency.
- Adequate supply of food and drinking water may also be considered.
- Floods can also cause epidemics. Epidemic is an outbreak of a contagious disease that spreads rapidly and widely.