Effects of flooding are; ecologic disruption, pollution, related-hazard facilitation, infrastructural damage, resource depletion, waterborne disease spread, and loss of life. They may be broadly grouped into environmental, economic and social effects.
This article discusses the effects of flooding, as outlined below;
-Environmental Effects of Flooding
1). Ecologic Disruption (as one of the Effects of Flooding)
Flooding can lead to the destruction and loss of natural habitats, thereby affecting biodiversity .
The effect of flooding on natural habitats may occur in all ecosystems, but tends to be most significant in inland wetlands, marine and coastal habitats.
Submergence of land by floodwaters causes the loss of oxygen in such areas, and can lead to mass death of land-based organisms like insects, reptiles, microbes, mammals and annelids. Surviving organisms are usually at risk of displacement when such events occur.
Flooding can physically disintegrate habitats like trees, nests and holes. They may also introduce pollutants into the ecosystem.
As floodwater flows across a given area, they pick up and transport materials which may be hazardous or toxic. This mechanism can lead to stormwater pollution, and the spread of such harmful materials across a vast area.
3). Related-Hazard Facilitation (as one of the Effects of Flooding)
Flooding can facilitate the occurrence of other closely-related environmental hazards.
Sloping areas are particularly susceptible to the ripple effects of floods. Soil conservation practices like contour terracing can help mitigate the risk of such events.
-Economic Effects of Flooding
4). Infrastructural Damage
It is not very uncommon for transport infrastructure like roads and bridges to be damaged by floods .
Because of the exposure of these facilities to the elements, they are usually affected by powerful floods.
Flood-related damage can have huge economic consequences, especially when it involves essential public infrastructure like education, health, electricity, agricultural and water supply facilities .
5). Resource Depletion (as one of the Effects of Flooding)
Flooding can lead to loss of agricultural, marine, and mineral resources, among others.
Agricultural resources that can be lost due to flooding include soil sediments, nutrients, water reserves, livestock and crops.
Mineral reserves and stored hydrocarbons can also be lost.
-Social Effects of Flooding
6). Waterborne Disease Spread
Flooding can facilitate the spread of waterborne diseases like hepatitis A and E, and diarrhea .
The main mechanism by which flooding facilitates disease spread, is through the influx of flood waters carrying bacteria, viruses, and chemical pollutants; into drinking water reserves .
When ingested, such water poses a high risk of infection to the body.
Flooding can also make healthcare inaccessible for patients, by damaging health infrastructure.
7). Loss of Life (as one of the Effects of Flooding)
Flooding can lead to loss of life, through any of various means.
The most common way by which flooding causes death is by drowning. It is estimated that drowning is the cause of over 60% of flood-related deaths .
This could either occur as a result of driving vehicles in severely flooded areas, or being trapped in flooded buildings.
Other causes of flood-related deaths include electrocution, cardiovascular attack, and physical injury due to landslides and building collapse.
Aside death, flooding can also cause psychosocial trauma .
Effects of flooding are;
1. Ecologic Disruption
3. Related-Hazard Facilitation
4. Infrastructural Damage
5. Resource Depletion
6. Waterborne Disease Spread
7. Loss of Life
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