10 Major Effects of Floods

 

10 Major Effects of Floods


A flood is an overflow of water on land. Sometimes a river might receive extra water, either from heavy rains or other natural disasters. When this happens, the water overflows from its normal path in the river bed and onto the dry land.

Flooding of areas used for socio-economic activities produces a variety of negative effects. The magnitude of adverse effects depends on the vulnerability of the activities and population and the frequency, intensity and extent of flooding.

Increased temperatures driven by climate change can influence variables that contribute to flooding. Atmospheric rivers, storm surges, and sudden snowmelt can exacerbate flooding risks.

In the United States, inland floods are occurring more often while flooding in coastal areas has doubled in the past 30 years.

The costs of flooding surpass all other natural disasters. In any given year, there is a better than an 80% chance that 10 or more flood events will occur, and the frequency of floods will increase as the climate changes.

The effects of floods include: Loss of human life Property and infrastructure damage, Road closures, erosion, and landslide risks, Crop destruction and livestock loss, Threats to salmon and other aquatic species, Health risks due to water contamination, Housing displacement and Economic impacts.

Flooding in key agricultural production areas can lead to widespread damage to crops and fencing and loss of livestock. Crop losses through rain damage, waterlogged soils, and delays in harvesting are further intensified by transport problems due to flooded roads and damaged infrastructure.

The flow-on effects of reduced agricultural production can often impact well outside the production area as food prices increase due to shortages in supply.

On the other hand, flood events can result in long-term benefits to agricultural production by recharging water resource storages, especially in drier, inland areas, and by rejuvenating soil fertility by silt deposition.

Damage to public infrastructure affects a far greater proportion of the population than those whose homes or businesses are directly inundated by the flood.

In particular, flood damage to roads, rail networks and key transport hubs, such as shipping ports, can have significant impacts on regional and national economies. Short-term downturns in regional tourism are often experienced after a flooding event.

While the impact on tourism infrastructure and the time needed to return to full operating capacity may be minimal, images of flood affected areas often lead to cancellations in bookings and a significant reduction in tourist numbers.

Flooding of urban areas can result in significant damage to private property, including homes and businesses. Losses occur due to damage to both the structure and contents of buildings.

Insurance of the structure and its contents against flooding can reduce the impacts of floods on individuals or companies.

In many natural systems, floods play an important role in maintaining key ecosystem functions and biodiversity. They link the river with the land surrounding it, recharge groundwater systems, fill wetlands, increase the connectivity between aquatic habitats, and move both sediment and nutrients around the landscape, and into the marine environment.

For many species, floods trigger breeding events, migration, and dispersal. These natural systems are resilient to the effects of all but the largest floods.

The environmental benefits of flooding can also help the economy through things such as increased fish production, recharge of groundwater resources, and maintenance of recreational environments.

Areas that have been highly modified by human activity tend to suffer more deleterious effects from flooding.

Floods tend to further degrade already degraded systems. Removal of vegetation in and around rivers, increased channel size, dams, levee bank and catchment clearing all work to degrade the hill-slopes, rivers and floodplains, and increase the erosion and transfer of both sediment and nutrients.

While cycling of sediments and nutrients is essential to a healthy system, too much sediment and nutrient entering a waterway has negative impacts on downstream water quality.

Other negative effects include loss of habitat, dispersal of weed species, the release of pollutants, lower fish production, loss of wetlands function, and loss of recreational areas.

Many of our coastal resources, including fish and other forms of marine production, are dependent on the nutrients supplied from the land during floods.

The negative effects of floodwaters on coastal marine environments are mainly due to the introduction of excess sediment and nutrients, and pollutants such as chemicals, heavy metals and debris. These can degrade aquatic habitats, lower water quality, reduce coastal production, and contaminate coastal food resources.

 


Top 10 Major Effects of Floods

10 Major Effects of Floods


The following are some of the major effects of floods:

1. Loss of lives and property

Immediate impacts of flooding include loss of human life, damage to property, destruction of crops, loss of livestock, non-functioning of infrastructure facilities and deterioration of health condition owing to waterborne diseases. Flash floods, with little or no warning time, cause more deaths than slow-rising riverine floods.

2. Decreased purchasing and production power

Damage to infrastructure also causes long-term impacts, such as disruptions to clean water and electricity, transport, communication, education and health care. Loss of livelihoods, reduction in purchasing power and loss of land value in the flood plains lead to increased vulnerabilities of communities living in the area.

3. Mass Relocation

Frequent flooding, resulting in loss of livelihoods, production and other prolonged economic impacts and types of suffering can trigger mass migration or population displacement. Migration to developed urban areas contributes to the overcrowding in the cities.

These migrants swell the ranks of the urban poor and end up living in marginal lands in cities that are prone to floods or other risks. Selective out-migration of the workforce sometimes creates complex social problems.

The additional cost of rehabilitation, relocation of people and removal of property from flood-affected areas can divert the capital required for maintaining production.

4. Psychosocial effects

The huge psycho-social effects on flood victims and their families can traumatize them for long periods of time. The loss of loved ones can generate deep impacts, especially on children. Displacement from one’s home, loss of property and livelihoods and disruption to business and social affairs can cause continuing stress. The stress of overcoming these losses can be overwhelming and produce lasting psychological impacts.

5. Political implications

Ineffective response to relief operations during major flood events may lead to public discontent or loss of trust in the authorities or the state and national governments. Lack of development in flood-prone areas may cause social inequity and even social unrest posing threat to peace and stability in the region.

6. Hindering economic growth and development

The high cost of relief and recovery may adversely impact investment in infrastructure and other development activities in the area and in certain cases may cripple the frail economy of the region. Recurrent flooding in a region may discourage long-term investments by the government and private sector alike.

Lack of livelihoods, combined with migration of skilled labour and inflation may have a negative impact on a region’s economic growth. Loss of resources can lead to high costs of goods and services, delaying its development programmes.

7. Soil erosion

The effects of soil erosion go beyond the loss of fertile land. It has led to increased pollution and sedimentation in streams and rivers, clogging these waterways and causing declines in fish and other species. And degraded lands are also often less able to hold onto water, which can worsen flooding.

8. Diseases and epidemics

Pandemics are large-scale outbreaks of infectious disease that can greatly increase morbidity and mortality over a wide geographic area and cause significant economic, social, and political disruption. Evidence suggests that the likelihood of pandemics has increased over the past century because of increased global travel and integration, urbanization, changes in land use, and greater exploitation of the natural environment.

Pandemics can cause sudden, widespread morbidity and mortality as well as social, political, and economic disruption. The world has endured several notable pandemics, including the Black Death, Spanish flu, and human immunodeficiency virus/acquired immune deficiency syndrome

9. Structural damage to bridges and roadways

Large debris and floodwaters can cause structural damage to bridges and roadways, making travel impossible. Power, telephone, and cable lines can be taken out by flash floods as well. Flood waters can disrupt or contaminate ground water, making tap water unfit for consumption.

10. The effect of a landslide

The impact of a landslide can be extensive, including loss of life, destruction of infrastructure, damage to land and loss of natural resources. Landslide material can also block rivers and increase the risk of floods.

 


What are the Consequences of floods?

Floods effects on both individuals and communities, and have social, economic, and environmental consequences. 

The effects of floods, both negative and positive, vary greatly depending on the location and extent offloading, and the vulnerability and value of the natural and constructed environments they affect.

The consequences of floods, both negative and positive, vary greatly depending on their location, duration, depth and speed, as well as the vulnerability and value of the affected natural and constructed environments. 

Floods affect both individuals and communities, and have social, economic, and environmental consequences

 

Floods have large social effects in communities and individuals

As most people are well aware, the immediate impacts of flooding include loss of human life, damage to property, destruction of crops, loss of livestock, and deterioration of health conditions owing to waterborne diseases.

As communication links and infrastructure such as power plants, roads and bridges are damaged and disrupted, some economic activities may come to a standstill, people are forced to leave their homes and normal life is disrupted.

Similarly, disruption to industry can lead to loss of livelihoods. Damage to infrastructure also causes long-term impacts, such as disruptions to supplies of clean water, wastewater treatment, electricity, transport, communication, education and health care. 

Loss of livelihoods reduction in purchasing power and loss of land value in the floodplains can leave livelihoods, reduction in purchasing power and loss of land value in the floodplains can leave communities economically vulnerable.

Floods can also traumatize victims and their families for long periods of time.

The loss of loved ones has deep impacts, especially on children. Displacement from one's home, loss of property and disruption to business and social affairs can cause continuing stress. For some people the psychological impacts can be long lasting.


Read: Top 7 Most Richest Farmers in Nigeria you may Love to know


How to Reduce Floods Effects  

Individual and Governments in generally have taken responsibilities for immediately responding to effect of floods. 

During a flood, individual and governments can partner and request assistance from Clear debris, operates pumps, fill and stack sandbags, and support other local response efforts.

Governments should to plan for, mitigate, and recover from flooding by providing technical assistance and grants to help communities’ better plan within a floodplain.

These efforts help:

· Reduce life and property losses

· Protect and restore natural floodplain functions

· Decrease erosion Keep water clean

· estore and maintain habitat for salmon and other fish and wildlife species

In conclusion, the effect of Floods tends to further degrade already degraded systems. Removal of vegetation in and around rivers, increased channel size, dams, levee bank and catchment clearing all work to degrade the hill-slopes, rivers and floodplains, and increase the erosion and transfer of both sediment and nutrients.

While cycling of sediments and nutrients is essential to a healthy system, too much sediment and nutrient entering a waterway has negative impacts on downstream water quality.

Other negative effects include loss of habitat, dispersal of weed species, the release of pollutants, lower fish production, loss of wetlands function, and loss of recreational areas.

Many of our coastal resources, including fish and other forms of marine production, are dependent on the nutrients supplied from the land during floods.

The negative effects of floodwaters on coastal marine environments are mainly due to the introduction of excess sediment and nutrients, and pollutants such as chemicals, heavy metals and debris. 

Effect of floods includes; Loss of lives and property: Immediate impacts of flooding include loss of human life, damage to property, destruction of crops, loss of livestock, non-functioning of infrastructure facilities and deterioration of health condition owing to waterborne diseases.

These can degrade aquatic habitats, lower water quality, reduce coastal production, and contaminate coastal food resources.

Post a Comment

0 Comments