What Are the Effects of Floods? How Do Floods Affect Animals, People, and Environment?
Effects and Damage Caused by Floods
After the Great Flood inundated the entire surface of our planet, floods are considered one of the world’s most dangerous natural disasters. They may not look as dreadful and dangerously impressive as a sudden tornado or typhoon, and they often give people time to flee the danger zone, but the damages caused by flooding are no less dire.
For example, the largest documented flood in the world occurred in China in the 1930s, when the country’s longest and most full-flowing river, the Yangtze, along with neighboring Huang He, overflowed its banks after prolonged rains, destroying levees and flooding over 300,000 hectares of fertile land (in some areas the water did not drain for about six months). By the way, we have already written an article about this natural disaster, make sure you have read it!When the river waters calmed down, the flooding damages were so catastrophic that the whole country could not recover for several decades.
Flooding is a devastating natural disaster caused by rising water levels in bodies of water, resulting in flooding of areas. But there are other causes of flooding. Flooding is the flooding of vast areas, which was caused by a rise in water levels in lakes, rivers, seas after heavy precipitation, melting snow, breach of the dam, which led to the release of water far beyond the shoreline.
Types of Floods
There are several types of the flood:
– floods that are caused by gradual but slow rises in water levels in rivers are caused by snowmelt and precipitation. This can lead to catastrophic consequences in the future;
-a sudden flood – a violent but short-lived rise in water level with the same cause of snow melting or precipitation, but very powerful;
-blockage – the blockage of a river bed, leading to flooding of areas, which is considered to be a huge environmental impact of flooding;
-wind surge – short-term but severe flooding caused by the effect of strong winds on the water surface.
How Do Floods Affect People?
Direct damage includes death, hypothermia and injuries to people, damage and destruction of residential and industrial buildings, roads, power lines, and communications, loss of livestock and crops, destruction and damage to raw materials, fuel, food, fodder and fertilizers, costs for the temporary evacuation of the population, destruction of the fertile soil layer.
Although in most cases the population is warned about the approaching disaster, warnings are often ignored because residents refuse to leave their homes in the hope that the elements will bypass them. And completely in vain: the oncoming water does not spare anyone and not only destroys structures (especially those with shallow foundations and constructed of wood) but often results in human casualties. Flooding problems are always underestimated by people, as there are not many historical examples of the devastating results of flooding in recent years.
Most of the floods that occur are relatively weak. They do not cause much property damage, depending on the severity of the event and the terrain. They can also occasionally result in the evacuation of people, although they usually do not flood houses (unless they are in depressions). In general, such flood problems are not particularly dangerous.
However, sometimes there are very strong or even catastrophic effects of a flood. They can flood entire settlements, causing enormous material damage. In such cases, mass evacuations are carried out, but people often die anyway. Fortunately, such dangerous floods are quite rare.
How Do Floods Affect Animals?
While human and economic losses can be calculated, no one keeps statistics on animals. Although they are the ones who suffer the most from the flooding causes and effects. Mammals, birds, insects, and fish all are affected directly by floods. It is destructive to our ecosystem because it breaks the ecological cycle and reduces the population of animals.
Just think of little mice, moles, hedgehogs, and badgers who simply cannot escape from floods and become victims of the effects of flooding. It is obvious that when floods occur, the fish that used to live in the reservoirs die immediately. During floods, many birds are thrown ashore, especially seagulls, which are used to living near water bodies. In general, animals do not have the slightest chance to resist the power of water and so they become victims of the elements.
Environmental Impacts of Flooding
The environment is very much affected by floods. The environmental impacts of floods are tremendous. In most cases, floodwater carries a lot of dirt, various chemicals, and carries disease. Chemicals contaminate the ground, which makes it impossible to use the land after a flood to grow a variety of crops. Catastrophic floods can even change the chemical composition of water, the soil is exposed to erosion, and thus the risk of landslides and mudslides increases.
Due to changes in vegetation, many animals and birds leave flooded areas, while others die under the water column. Long distances to the shore are sometimes impossible to pass even for well-swimming animals. Muddy water carries diseases that can cause outbreaks of epidemics and diseases in people and animals.
Living near the sea or the ocean is great, of course, but then the risk of being caught in a flood increases. You have to be ready for them at all times! Find out more interesting things with us!