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Flood facts for kids

Kids Encyclopedia Facts
Urban flood cropped
Flooding in a street
Contemporary picture of the flood that struck the North Sea coast of Germany and Denmark in October 1634.

A flood is an overflow of water on normally dry ground. This is most commonly due to an overflowing river, a dam break, snowmelt, or heavy rainfall. Less commonly happening are tsunamis, storm surge.

The most deadly flooding was in 1931 in China and killed between 2,000,000 and 4,000,000 people. The Kerala 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 flood evacuation.

Bangladesh is the most flood prone area in the world.

Pollution of drinking water

Autumn Mediterranean flooding in Alicante, Spain, September of 1997

During a flood there is plenty of water logging and overflow of water, but it is mostly polluted and not safe to drink. If people drink this dirty water, they may suffer from diseases such as typhoid and cholera, hepatitis and other such diseases. People can get ready to survive a flood by filling many containers with fresh and clean drinking water and storing other emergency supplies; like: medicine and food. During flood people try to go to higher sides because the flood water wouldn't reach high areas. Also drains overflow and mix with clean water and people who drink it might fall ill.

Causes of floods

Flooding is usually caused when a volume of water within a water body, such as a lake, overflows outside it. Sometimes if a dam breaks, it suddenly releases 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.

Rainfall is the most common cause. Snow melt is also a cause of flooding. Tsunamis and Storm Surge are less common ways that floods happen. Coastal Flooding is another common cause of flooding, and this is caused by low pressure systems or storms.

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