Flooding is a natural disaster that involves significant flooding of a certain area. It occurs due to an increase in the water level in some reservoir, for example, due to snowmelt, heavy rain, earthquake or other events. In addition, there is also a special type of flood, which happens due to strong winds that drive water into rivers. This disaster is very dangerous and can lead to the death of thousands of people, the destruction of important infrastructure such as roads and buildings. Chaos occurs due to the fact that the mass of water increases exponentially when the wave accelerates to a certain speed. The duration of floods varies from a few hours to a couple of weeks. Entire cities could be buried under water.
Causes and factors of floods
According to statistics that have been formed over many years, floods make up approximately 30-35% of all other natural disasters, so we can say with confidence that this is one of the most common disasters that can happen. Approximately 75% of the entire territory of the globe is flooded in one way or another, which means that it is desirable for everyone to know at least a basic plan of action. Any body of water, be it a reservoir, lake, river, sea or even an artificial pond, can pose a potential threat. There are several main causes of floods:
- Heavy and prolonged rains, downpours;
- Sharp melting of glaciers or snow after winter;
- Strong winds, which in themselves can carry danger, because they can form a hurricane, storm or tornado;
- Congestion, which often forms in the riverbed, can eventually lead to its overflow;
- Breakthrough of platinum, or other structures that hold back large bodies of water;
- A sharp rise in groundwater;
There is also a classification of floods, which will be fully discussed below.
Floods, according to WHO, are the most common natural disasters: in the last twenty years alone, they have occurred in almost every country in the world. Even more common are those days when half or even a full monthly rainfall falls. Such precedents lead to floods, which can be easily followed by a flood if there are water bodies in the area. Floods themselves have not only short-term, but also long-term damage: the destruction that occurs during a natural disaster deprives people of their homes; they carry dust that a person has to breathe in anticipation of salvation, and simply PTSD (post-traumatic syndrome) affects the psyche.
Over the past twenty years, more than three thousand people have died during the floods, and tens of millions have felt the consequences. Moreover, only half of the deaths are associated with drowning during the disaster itself, and the rest die from trauma, fear, gas poisoning or other consequences. Water cannot carry any specific diseases, but mental disorders, poisoning and injuries can leave a mark for life. Long-term damage is also caused by abrupt and unexpected relocation, because it is far from always possible to find a place in the district where you will be sheltered, fed and given water to drink.
In fact, there are many types of floods, but the following can be distinguished from the main and understandable to everyone:
Among other things, floods, like any other natural disaster, have a full-fledged classification, which was already mentioned in one of the first paragraphs. There are two lists in total, one of which divides the distress by severity, and the other, described below, suggests familiarizing yourself with the frequency of occurrence:
- Low. They, as the name implies, are insignificant in their damage and mainly cover only coastal areas, which are rarely distinguished by size. Flooding of agricultural land does not exceed ten percent. These floods are practically unable to affect the current rhythm of life of the population. They do not repeat so often: once every 5-10 years.
- High. From this point, natural disasters begin, which cause significant damage both morally and materially. They are able to cover large areas of river valleys. More than fifteen percent of agricultural land is flooded. High floods significantly affect the economic and household structure of the population. Partial evacuation of people is almost always necessary as some of them are likely to be at high risk. They do not repeat so often, but at the same time, people who do not change their place of residence until old age may well catch two or even three floods of this magnitude on the same territory.
- Outstanding. Full-fledged river basins can be flooded due to such disasters, which is why they are very dangerous. About 70 percent of the land goes under water, so there may be no talk of saving some beds, because everything can be restored if there were people. Many parts or even full-fledged settlements are flooded. Outstanding floods not only disrupt the way of life, but also paralyze economic activity. It is necessary to evacuate material assets and the population from the disaster zone and protect the main objects of economic importance. Catastrophes of this magnitude are repeated only once in a hundred years, but at the same time, none of us is immune from them, because people constantly influence climate and weather conditions, so it cannot be said with full confidence that the frequency of such events will not increase.
- catastrophic. These catastrophes are the most destructive and cause such huge material damage, spreading over vast territories within one or more river systems, that an entire city can suffer. Human sacrifices are already inevitable, and their number can exceed several thousand. Agricultural land does not even have mention, because more than 85 percent is under water, and there is no one to follow the remaining part. Many settlements, engineering communications and industrial enterprises suffer to one degree or another. Production and economic activity stops, the full resettlement of people begins and the entire domestic lifestyle is inevitably changing.
Actions and rules for flood
In every city, which is located in close proximity to reservoirs, there is a list of actions during natural disaster and special sound alert. The siren turns on at the moment when the sensors record too strong changes in the speed of the sea, or another reservoir near which the city is located. When you hear the evacuation signal, you need to take all the most important things, which must include documents, money, a small first aid kit and a bottle of water.
It is necessary to evacuate in a safer area, if there is one, or to more elevated areas (they are not at home. It is necessary to find mountains/hills/hills. Typically, in such places there are evacuation points, since the government of your state is obliged to provide a possible disaster and organize everything in advance, because the precautions have not yet prevented anyone. If there is such a item, you need to register, so that during the verification of the lists of residents you will not be lost and do not raise a panic.
When you leave your house, be sure to turn off the electricity through the switch, extinguish the fire and close the gas valves to avoid explosions. Items that can interfere with movement, such as cars, must be taken to underground parking or other closed and indepth areas. Various valuables should be transferred to the roof of the house, since in this case it will be much easier to find them if the building collapses. Doors, windows and other possible entrances to your home should also be closed or even boarded up so that the house is not flooded from the inside.
If there is no organized evacuation, you need to be at the highest point of the building, i.e.to. if the rescuers do not have time by the time the flood begins, it is simply easier to survive on the upper floors or the roof. In addition, you definitely need to give all possible signals for help: wave colorful clothes, shout, do your best to be noticed. In the event that the rescuers managed to arrive on time, you need to put aside the panic and follow all their recommendations. Trained people will not advise you something bad, since their duty is to save your and their own lives, but if you see that a special services worker is out of his mind, do not criticize him, just explain it to him in a calm tone. Rescuers are people too, so they also tend to make mistakes, panic and be afraid, you should not be angry with them.
In the event that the rescuers did not have time, and you are on the roof of an apartment building, for example, you are more likely to survive. When you see a drowning person, you need to shout so that he notices other people and distracts from panic. Try throwing him something he can grab on to: a rope, a stick, or a de-energized (this is important) wire. If you can’t, then call a person who swims well. He needs to swim up to the drowning man from behind, grab him by the hair and swim to the shore.
Protection of the population from flooding
Rescue and emergency services always have a list of actions during natural disasters, which includes all preventive and other methods of dealing with the consequences, and a plan for how to prevent them. Initially, it all depends on the place where people live and work: the larger the body of water to the settlement, the higher the chance that an increase in the water level can significantly affect this very point. Suppose you live in close proximity to a lake, sea or reservoir, which is protected by a dam this obliges all rescue services to constantly study data on precipitation and water levels. Some of the main measures to protect the population include:
- Flood flow regulation with the help of hydraulic structures, which are dams and dams.
- Due to the fact that we live in a civilized world, people can now independently choose their places of residence, including the territory where they want to build a new residential area or other infrastructure. It is imperative to take into account all natural factors and understand that building a residential area near a dam is sheer stupidity, which will ultimately lead residents to death. It is impossible to build important and large objects in places where the levels of the leash are predicted, taking into account the norms of their safety margin for the relevant conditions.
- All rescuers, administrators, doctors and other people who influence people’s lives and can save them must have a place of work on the ground floors, because only in this case they will be able to warn people. Yes, on the one hand, it is dangerous, because the flood just destroys the lower floors, but at the same time it will be much easier to react and leave the call from the first floor. In addition, for administrative facilities it is necessary to ensure the stability of road surfaces, communication lines and power transmission lines in flood conditions.
- A reserve of reserves, with the help of which it will be possible to quickly strengthen hydraulic structures, build a dam, a water barrier or other objects that can stop a disaster.
The next equally important part is the implementation of organizational measures, since people’s awareness is often more important than any other factors.
The first step is to plan an action plan and organize shelters in which people can take refuge. They must have provisions for some time, drinking water and essential medicines. When planning, special attention is paid to the organization of preventive and emergency evacuation from threatened areas (evacuation areas and movement routes are determined, the procedure for placing evacuees in them, transport support and other data are determined and constantly updated).
Mandatory funding should go to the creation of forces, means and methods for rescue work. This is the replenishment of jobs for special services, for example, the Ministry of Emergency Situations, an increase in their wages and an improvement in the training they receive. In addition, the population must be provided with the most basic life-saving equipment.
After these actions, you can proceed to the organization of monitoring the state of rivers and reservoirs.
Forecast of possible floods and their consequences
Monitoring the state of rivers and reservoirs is carried out by hydrometeorological services, and governing bodies should be careful about the operational receipt of flood forecasts from them and other information. We must not forget about the siren, which must be checked periodically, as well as keep the flood warning system in constant readiness. The population should always be trained so that everyone, regardless of age, is ready to act in flood conditions. Training is carried out according to general rules, it should take place in physical education classes, all employees of institutions, regardless of profession, students of higher educational institutions. During training, special attention is paid to the issues of evacuating the population in various ways from areas of possible flooding.
Major floods in Eurasia
Russia is the largest country in the world by area. It is quite logical that it is surrounded by many bodies of water, the list of which even includes three oceans. Because of this, the risk of flooding is very high, especially in coastal cities. Since the floods for the last hundred, fifty, and even thirty years were more than twenty, it is worth recalling the three largest:
one. April 2004. An ordinary spring day, nothing portends trouble, but the Kondom and Tom rivers, along with their tributaries, overflow their banks. The flood begins, which destroys more than six thousand houses. About ten thousand people were injured, nine of them said goodbye to life forever. The city of Tashtagol, which was in close proximity to the start of the disaster, suffered the most. About a hundred kilometers of regional roads went under water in an instant. Telephone communications, dozens of bridges all this was destroyed then.
2. July 7, 2012. Krymsk, Novorossiysk, Gelendzhik these are just three large cities that suffered that day due to the flood. Most of the villages of the Krasnodar Territory also felt the full power of the elements. The supply of gas, energy and water stopped in an instant. The railroad tracks were destroyed, which caused many electric trains and trains to derail. The prosecutor’s office counted about 168 dead on that ill-fated night, 153 of whom died in Krymsk, the city that took the brunt of the disaster. About six thousand houses were destroyed.
3. The most powerful flood occurred in the Far East at the end of the summer of 2013. For the past two centuries, this was the most devastating disaster that such a large and vast country has ever seen. Five subjects of the entire Far Eastern District were flooded, and the total area of destruction amounted to more than 8 million square kilometers, which sounds simply incomprehensible. 37 districts, 235 settlements and about 15 thousand residential buildings were affected. It was not possible to calculate the number of deaths, but more than a hundred thousand residents felt injuries and loss of property. The Amur Region, the Khabarovsk Territory and the Jewish Autonomous Region were the first and those who took the brunt of the blow.
Flooding in the Far East
Major floods in the world
In the course of reading the article, one can draw a completely logical conclusion that floods are one of the worst disasters that can occur. There is literally no escape from them if you are not prepared, if you do not organize yourself. Throughout history, there have been many floods that have destroyed vast territories, cities and even countries. Of these, it is worth highlighting the three most ambitious:
- 1342. The most powerful flood in the history of Central Europe. Weser, Rhine, Main, Werra, Moselle, Elbe and many other rivers burst their banks at once. Cologne, Vienna, Regensburg, Frankfurt am Main, Passau and many other big cities have felt the full power of water, which has no obstacles in its path. The reason was torrential downpours that lasted for several days and eventually overwhelmed the reservoirs. Thousands of people drowned that day, several thousand more died from destruction, and no one knew the exact number. This disaster was called the flood of St. Mary Magdalene.
- In the last century there were also floods, the power of which was unimaginable. One of these happened in 1931 on a river called the Yangtze, and all of China felt the consequences. Only according to tentative estimates, the number of deaths exceeds four million people, and I don’t even want to know the exact numbers, in fact. It is this flood that is recognized as the strongest after the Flood, which is still legendary to this day. More than three hundred thousand square kilometers in one day went under water, were literally buried.
- In America, in 1927, there was a flood, which later became known as the “Great”. The Mississippi River burst its banks due to heavy and prolonged downpours. The territory of ten states was subjected to flooding, which in some places reached a depth of ten meters. There was a good chance that the water would go further and blow away New Orleans in its path, which is why it was decided to blow up a dam nearby in order to stop the catastrophe with the help of the ruins. This did not help to the full extent, because other territories were flooded. More than half a million people died because of this disaster.