pramalkumarsamanta By pramalkumarsamanta, 3rd May 2015 | Follow this author | RSS Feed | Short URL http://nut.bz/37tavqsm/
Posted in Wikinut>Guides>Emergency Preparedness>Floods

Though a flood is a natural calamity, steps have been taken to prevent it. Dams and canals have been constructed at different places to regulate the flow of water. The Damodar Valley Corporation, the Mayurakshi projects ,the Kangsabati canal projects and the Teesta Barrage projects ,to name a few are undertaken for this purpose,


Floods are generally caused by heavy incessant rain on the catchment areas of the river. Excessive rainfall causes the normal rainwater flowing down the river to the sea. But when the rain is too heavy for this, the river overflows the lands on either side. Sometimes a flood is caused by the sudden melting of large masses of snow in the mountain. Occasionally the pressure of river water breaks an embankment and the water rushes into the land on the other side. In some places railway lines also cause a flood by obstructing the natural downward flow of water. Huge accumulation of water on the upper catchment areas causes flood in the low-lying areas of the villages.
A flood causes great damage to life and property. Crops are destroyed; low lying houses, particularly mud and thatched ones, tumble down; domestic pets like cats and dogs,even cattle, are swept away. Those who cannot escape in time to a high land are drowned. Some even take to tree-tops and stay on there until they are rescued. The volunteers engage boats to rescue the flood victims drowned in the water logged areas of the villages. Water logged areas submerge the houses , the crops causing inundation over one village after another. Dangerously poisonous snakes, cocks ,hens and birds take shelter on the trees to save their lives. It is rare incident to watch at the time of flood. Accumulated water cannot find their passage towards the rivers unless the embankments are cut. The rivers and the rivulets are full to the brim overflowing both the banks of the rivers, causing devastating damage to the standing crops

Relief measures

Whenever there is a flood,people come forward to help the sufferers. Many charitable organizations like Ramakrishna Mission, Bharat Sebashram sangha ,etc are volunteered in the relief operation of the distressed flood victims. Those who have lost their homes are given shelter in the houses of their fortunate fellow men or public places like the school and college buildings. The flood victims often take shelter on the high embankment of the dams and the canals and stay there in temporary sheds and tents until normal situation is restored. Meanwhile relief works are taken up as promptly as possible.Flattened rice,gur(molasses) milk powder, baby foods and clothes are rushed in from the nearest towns and distributed among those who need them. In temporary shelters they are fed and clothed by charitable people,different philanthropic organizations and the Government until they are in a position to manage their own affairs.
The medical teams sent by the Government take prompt steps to prevent the outbreak of any disease like stomach disorders, high fevers, etc Cholera inoculation was given to almost every villager. D.D.T. and bleaching powder are spread freely to sanitize the temporary shelters.
Assistance in the form of loans and donations is given to build or repair the houses , to purchase cattle and to cultivate the agricultural land anew. It is calamities like the flood that reveal the inherent kindness and fellow-feeling of men.


Floods are rather frequent in West Bengal as well as tn India. Most terrible were the Damodar Flood of 1913 in the districts of Burdwan and Midnapore,the North Bengal Flood of 1922, and the All Bengal Flood of 1959 and the flood of 1978. These memories are still fresh in many minds. Similarly the flood of Uttarakhand 2012 is still fresh in our mind.
But there is no cloud without its silver lining. Even a flood has its good effects. It washes away the accumulated filth that produces germs of various diseases The alluvial soil it leaves behind fertilizes the soil.


Alluvial Soil, Catchment Areas, Flattened Rice, Floods, Incessant Rain, Silver Lining, Swept Away, Tumble Down, Water Logged Areas

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author avatar pramalkumarsamanta
I am a retired government officer.I am a postgraduate in life sciences, I have a passion for writing on any topic.

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author avatar Nancy Czerwinski
16th May 2015 (#)

Thanks for sharing your article. I just had a class on fast moving water on Wednesday evening. It's a scary thought.

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author avatar pramalkumarsamanta
17th May 2015 (#)

Floods are no doubt a threatening natural calamity to be won over by cool temperament. Thanks for expressing her views.

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