Flooding is truly devastating. Occurring for a variety of reasons, floods are some of the deadliest natural and artificial events which ravage homes and businesses all over the world. Floods can arise through bursting of waterway banks, during earthquakes and during hurricanes. In some cases, flooding can occur during intense rainfall, and when poor defences are in place. Take a look below for 17 devastating and crazy facts about floods.
1. The UK is prone to mass flooding year after year, often due to bad weather and poor flood defences. In fact, it’s thought that around five million people are at risk of heavy floods each year.
2. It’s most commonly rivers bursting their banks or overflowing which results in flooding. This can occur as a result of intensive rain or wet weather, which will of course create an overflow effect.
3. Two feet of water, it’s said, is enough to set a car adrift. You may not be able to stand in as little as six inches of fast-moving flood water.
4. The best thing to do during a flood is to head to as high ground as you possibly can.
5. Believe it or not, even the Sahara Desert has struggled with flooding in the past! Floods in 2003 actually led to a series of temporary waterways forming.
6. Flash floods are particularly dangerous – they occur quickly and without warning and could result in water levels spiking up to 20 feet in height.
7. In the US, it’s thought that up to 90% of natural disasters arrive with some form of flooding attached. Therefore, it’s seen as second only to wildfires in terms of widespread natural chaos.
8. Some floods develop very slowly over several days, while others can start to form and devastate with next to no warning. Therefore, it is always crucial to have some form of local flood defence in place.
9. Flood water can come from anywhere – it could carry all kinds of bacteria and disease, for example. That’s why it is so important to disinfect yourself if you come into contact with flood waters at any height.
10. Floods have the power not only to ruin the odd carpet, but to destroy transport links and whole streets. The power and force behind a flood may vary depending on weather and where it is coming from. The potential loss to life, too, cannot be underestimated – many people, adults, and children alike, do not know how to swim.
11. In the US, around 82 recorded deaths per year occur as a result of flooding. What’s more, it’s thought to contribute to around $8 billion in local damages annually.
12. It’s entirely possible for flooding to occur across all US states. Therefore, the country is one of the leaders in terms of preparing flood defences.
13. One of the most devastating floods in recent years occurred in Boscastle, Cornwall. No one died as a result of the conditions, but the event resulted in much of the community being destroyed.
14. The biggest flooding disaster that led to fatalities occurred in China in 1939. At this time, it’s thought that up to four million people lost their lives.
15. Floods can occur from any body of water likely to spill over, or to be affected by natural events in the local area. For example, even the likes of glaciers splitting can lead to flood conditions.
16. Flood can not only lead to thousands of pounds of property damage, but also mass outage in terms of power – which can leave some homes completely devastated. Hurricane Katrina, for example, led to mass floods which resulted in many families losing homes they had built up for several years, even for generations.
17. Floods can also have a devastating effect on the land, too. Flood waters can carry hazardous waste and material across long distances. What’s more, they can also lead to wild animals such as crocodiles and alligators propagating in built-up areas. Therefore, vigilance is key, even in the aftermath of flooding.