What it is
In the rainy season rivers and canals are full to the brim. Sometimes water rises so high that it overflows the banks. Fields, and sometimes houses, lie under water. This great rise of water is called a flood.
Causes of the flood
The flood is caused in many ways. Sometimes rain falls heavily for days together. The rain water of mountains flows down the river. Sometimes the river cannot hold so much water. Then the water flows down the river and floods the adjacent lands. Sometimes snow melts in mountains. The water flows down the river and floods the country. A flood is also caused by the breaking of the embankment of a river. The water of the river rushes through the breach and floods a vast tract of land. Recently Government has made many dams to store the surplus water of some rivers. This helps to prevent flood. But these dams sometimes become full to the brim. It is then necessary to allow the stored-up water to flow out. As a result, a sudden rush of water overflows the banks of rivers and canals and causes flood.
The scene of a flooded area and its effects
During a flood the water of the river rises very high. It sweeps away everything that comes in its way. Crops are destroyed. Many houses are ruined. Many people are rendered homeless. Their belongings are washed away. Many people and cattle are drowned. The sufferings of the people know no bounds. Railway lines remain under water, and sometimes, these are also washed away. The Whole area under a flood presents a very horrible sight. The miseries of the people cannot be fully described. Famine and epidemic diseases break out as the after-effects of a flood.
Measures to help the sufferers
People try their utmost to help the flood-Btricken people. They start relief committees. Money, food, medicine and cloth are collected. Volunteers are sent to the Hooded area to help the people. Food, cloth and money are distribued to them. Medicine also is distributed free to them. The Government also grants them help. It grants peasants loans of seeds and money and provide people with work.
Some notable floods
Floods are common to all countries. Floods occur every year in some parts of India. In Bengal, there was a terrible flood in 1913. It is known as the Damodar flood. Large areas of land in the districts of Burdwan, Hooghly and Midnapur were flooded. The North Bengal flood of 1922 also caused a great loss of life and property. A terrible flood visited North Bengal and East Bengal in 1931. In 1934 a terrible flood caused a great loss to the people of Assam. Their condition became extremely miserable. The people of other parts of India came forward to help the sufferers. In recent years, terrible floods have caused great loss to Assam, North Bengal and Bihar. In Southern India also there have been terrible foolds by the rise of water in the Cauvery and other rivers. In 1987, a terrible flood affected Assam, North Bengal, North Bihar and eastern part of Uttar Pradesh. It also caused great loss of lives and properties of men, crops and domestic animals. It is an irony of fate that just during this time there had been an unprecedented drought in other parts of India. Thus the Government of India had a very hard time to face the situation. It had to help both the flood-stricken and drought-stricken people to mitigate their sufferings.
We cannot fully check the occurrence of the flood. We should try to dig a large number of passages for water. We should see that water may flow away easily. Railway bridges should be made in large numbers. Some of the river banks should be raised and embankments must be made strong. Dams should be made to store the excess water of these rivers.
The flood is a great evil. But it has some good effects. It makes the soil fertile. It also washes away all impurities of land. Still we never welcome a flood in a terrible form.