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The impact of floods on life and property can be most effectively reduced by hazard mapping. | UPSC geography optional paper 1 2019



The impact of floods on life and property can be most effectively reduced by hazard mapping. Comment.

(UPSC geography optional paper 1 2019, 15 Marks)

Answer.

A flood is an overflow of water that submerges the areas that cause the loss of life and economy. A flood can be from a river flood, a dam burst, cyclonic flood, ocean storms, etc. In India, a flood is mainly caused by monsoon bursts in low-lying areas. 
The following are the reasons for the flood:

  • Climate Change:
    • Uncertainty in Monsoon: 
      • Heavy rainfall in a very short duration of time causes floods in low-lying areas.
    • Cyclonic rainfall also causes the flood
  • Encroachment of flood room areas
  • Unplanned and unscientific mining in hilly areas causes the silting of drainage channel bed causing a reduction in the depth of river bed and as a result overflow of river cause flood in surrounding areas.
  • Unplanned construction in Urban areas such as colonies, transportation infrastructure, concretization utilization of areas, and improper solid waste management in urban areas leads to choking of natural and human-made drainage channels that lead to floods. 
  • Deforestation leads to soil erosion and a reduction in flood areas causes the flood.
  • Mismanagement of Dam water; Dam managers wait to fill the dam then they release water. Heavy rain and dam discharge at the same time cause the flood.


Impact of the flood:
Flood is one of the major hazards in India affecting a major part of the population both economically and psychologically.
The impact of the flood is multidimensional:



  • It badly harmed the tourism sector
  • Loss of lives and cattle
  • Damage of Infrastructure
  • Create Psychological stress or trauma among vulnerable groups such as children, Women, etc.
  • Waste management and cleanliness challenge
  • The outbreak of some communicable diseases such as Dengue, Malaria, Cholera, etc.
  • Cascading effects like Infection and absence of care for pregnant women and old people.



What is Hazard mapping?


  • Hazard mapping is a map that is highlighting particular hazards such as earthquakes, volcanos, landslides, floods, and lightning.


Hazard Mapping of the flood:
Unlike other hazards such as landslides and earthquakes, Flood can be predicted well before time. Location identification would be the first step in the preparation and management of floods.
Flood hazard mapping is the map with the identified area which is risk-prone to flood and also marked the level of risk of flood from low to extreme. It can be mapped by:

  • Mapping from satellite image
  • Geographical Information System
  • Need ground level survey related to past data of flood

The benefit of hazard Mapping of the flood:
It helps in Disaster preparation in the following ways:

  • Change in land use: More room should be provided to natural waterways to manage the flood.
  • Implement special flood measures like implementing the concept of a sponge city and a chain of the smaller dam on natural waterways to control the flood.
  • Creation of an emergency response team.
  • Creating public awareness.
  • Need resilience planning:
  • Need to relocate people away from hazard zones, but finding suitable land will be a key challenge.
  • Need to strengthen infrastructures such as home, transport, and drainage.
Try to solve the following questions:
  • Account for the growing frequency and intensity of floods in India and suggest short-and long-term remedial measures indicating the chronically flood-prone areas. ( UPSC 2015, 250 words, 20 marks)

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mtom
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9 September 2020 at 13:20 ×

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