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The 1931 flood in China in Hankow City
Red River flood in 1897

A flood is an overflow of water on land which is usually dry.[1][2]

Sometimes a water resource (river, lake or pond) gets flushed with too much water. Unusually heavy rain sometimes causes floods. When there is too much water, it may overflow beyond its normal limits. This water then spreads over land, flooding it. Extreme flooding can also be caused by a tsunami or a large storm that causes a storm surge. Floods that happen quickly are called flash floods.

The most deadly flooding was in 1931 in China and killed between 2,000,000 and 4,000,000 people.[3] The Kerela flood in India was another flood that has destroyed people's houses.

During a flood, people try to move themselves and their most precious belongings to higher ground quickly. The process of leaving homes in search of a safe place is called evacuation.

Pollution of drinking water[change | change source]

Autumn mediterranean flooding in Alicante, Spain, September of 1997

During a flood there is plenty of water, but it is mostly polluted and not safe to drink. If people drink the dirty water, they may suffer from diseases such as typhoid and cholera. People can get ready to survive a flood by filling many containers with fresh and clean drinking water and storing other emergency supplies.

Causes of floods[change | change source]

Flooding is usually caused by a volume of water within a water body, such as a lake, overflowing. Sometimes a dam breaks, suddenly releasing a large amount of water. The result is that some of the water travels to land, and 'floods' the area. Many rivers are in a channel, between river banks. They flood when the strength of the river causes it to flow beyond the banks. This is more common at bends or meanders. Flood damage can be prevented by moving away from places that flood. However, people have long liked to have their homes and businesses alongside water because water is good for agriculture and transport and in other ways. Floods are also caused due to improper management of drains.

2010-11 Floods in Queensland[change | change source]

In 2010 and 2011, Queensland floods hurt Australia's Gross Domestic Product (GDP) by diminishing export revenues. Operations at about 40 coal mines were disrupted because of the floods. Crops were damaged and grazing lands were underwater.

References[change | change source]

  1. MSN Encarta Dictionary. Flood. Retrieved on 2006-12-28. Archived 2009-10-31.
  2. Directive 2007/60/EC Chapter 1 Article2. eur-lex.europa.eu. Retrieved on 2012-06-12.
  3. O'Connor, Jim E. and John E. Costa. 2004. The world's largest floods, past and present: their causes and magnitudes [Circular 1254]. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Department of the Interior, U.S. Geological Survey.

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