Urban floods are significantly different from rural flooding. Discuss while highlighting the causes of Urban Floods in India.

Published: August 30, 2017

Flood is “an overflow of a water body over areas not usually inundated”. However Urban flood is significantly different from the rural flood. Because of developed catchments in urban areas, there is higher runoff & subsequently, a flood occurs very quickly. Also, most of the surface is solid, so water infiltration is difficult. Due to high population density in urban areas, more people are vulnerable to flood resulting in loss of life. The secondary effect of exposure to infection along with flood also increases human vulnerabilities. Bad urban planning and poor drainage system further aggravate the problem. Also, urban areas are also centers of economic activities with vital infrastructure any damage will not only have a local impact but may have nation wide impact.
The Causes of Urban flood are
Human Factors
Land use change, deforestation, solid surface, Occupation of the flood plain which blocks natural flow, poor drainage system, improper solid waste management system, Human role in climate change are some factors which intensify urban flood.
Meteorological Factors
These include intense rainfall, thunderstorm & cyclonic storms.
Hydrological Factors
This includes presence or absence of overbank flow channel networks. This also includes the occurrence of high tides which impedes the drainage in coastal cities.
All stakeholders including authorities and residents should identify flood prone areas and be prepared to tackle flooding. With proper planning and best management practices, our cities can be more flood resilient.

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