TODAY -

Present Flood Situation In Manipur
- Part 2 -

Salam Gunakanta Singh *

Flood in Imphal ( Uripok, Sagolband and Waheng Leikai ) :: June 14 2017
Flood in Imphal on June 14 2017 :: Pix - Shankar Khangembam



There are two main types of riverside flooding:

o Overbank flooding occurs when water rises overflows over the edges of a river or stream. This is the most common and can occur in any size channel from small streams to huge rivers.

o Flash flooding is characterized by an intense, high velocity torrent of water that occurs in an existing river channel with little to no notice. Flash floods are very dangerous and destructive not only because of the force of the water, but also the hurtling debris that is often swept up in the flow.

The severity of a river flood is determined by the amount of precipitation in an area, how long it takes for precipitation to accumulate, previous saturation of local soils, and the terrain surrounding the river system. In flatter areas, floodwater tends to rise more slowly and be shallower, and it often remains for days.

In hilly or mountainous areas, floods can occur within minutes after a heavy rain. To determine the probability of river flooding, models consider past precipitation, forecasted precipitation, current river levels, and temperatures.

Pluvial (Surface Flood)

A pluvial, or surface water flood, is caused when heavy rainfall creates a flood event independent of an overflowing water body. One of the most common misconceptions about flood risk is that one must be located near a body of water to be at risk. Pluvial flooding debunks that myth, as it can happen in any urban area even higher elevation areas that lie above coastal and river floodplains.

There are two common types of pluvial flooding:

o Intense rain saturates an urban drainage system. The system becomes overwhelmed and water flows out into streets and nearby structures.

o Run-off or flowing water from rain falling on hillsides that are unable to absorb the water. Hillsides with recent forest fires are notorious sources of pluvial floods, as are suburban communities on hillsides.

Pluvial flooding often occurs in combination with coastal and fluvial flooding, and although typically only a few centimetres deep, a pluvial flood can cause significant property damage.

Looking Ahead

Climate change models predict that severe weather will continue to intensify in the decades to come. At the same time, the world population continues to grow, bringing an increase in urban development. Therefore increased awareness of flood risk, along with better information and tools to help assess it, is critical to prevent devastating loss of life and property worldwide.

What are the consequences of floods?

Floods impact on both individuals and communities, and have social, economic, and environmental consequences. The consequences of floods, both negative and positive, vary greatly depending on the location and extent of flooding, and the vulnerability and value of the natural and constructed environments they affect.

The consequences of floods, both negative and positive, vary greatly depending on their location, duration, depth and speed, as well as the vulnerability and value of the affected natural and constructed environments. Floods impact both individuals and communities, and have social, economic, and environmental consequences

Floods have large social consequences for communities and individuals

As most people are well aware, the immediate impacts of flooding include loss of human life, damage to property, destruction of crops, loss of livestock, and deterioration of health conditions owing to waterborne diseases. As communication links and infrastructure such as power plants, roads and bridges are damaged and disrupted, some economic activities may come to a standstill, people are forced to leave their homes and normal life is disrupted.

Similarly, disruption to industry can lead to loss of livelihoods. Damage to infrastructure also causes long-term impacts, such as disruptions to supplies of clean water, wastewater treatment, electricity, transport, communication, education and health care. Loss of livelihoods, reduction in purchasing power and loss of land value in the floodplains can leave communities economically vulnerable.

Floods can also traumatise victims and their families for long periods of time. The loss of loved ones has deep impacts, especially on children. Displacement from one's home, loss of property and disruption to business and social affairs can cause continuing stress. For some people the psychological impacts can be long lasting.

Flooding in key agricultural production areas can lead to widespread damage to crops and fencing and loss of livestock. Crop losses through rain damage, waterlogged soils, and delays in harvesting are further intensified by transport problems due to flooded roads and damaged infrastructure. The flow-on effects of reduced agricultural production can often impact well outside the production area as food prices increase due to shortages in supply.

On the other hand, flood events can result in long-term benefits to agricultural production by recharging water resource storages, especially in drier, inland areas, and by rejuvenating soil fertility by silt deposition.

Damage to public infrastructure affects a far greater proportion of the population than those whose homes or businesses are directly inundated by the flood. In particular, flood damage to roads, rail networks and key transport hubs, such as shipping ports, can have significant impacts on regional and national economies.

Short-term downturns in regional tourism are often experienced after a flooding event. While the impact on tourism infrastructure and the time needed to return to full operating capacity may be minimal, images of flood affected areas often lead to cancellations in bookings and a significant reduction in tourist numbers.

Flooding of urban areas can result in significant damage to private property, including homes and businesses. Losses occur due to damage to both the structure and contents of buildings. Insurance of the structure and its contents against flooding can reduce the impacts of floods on individuals or companies.

To be continued....


* Salam Gunakanta Singh, Environmentalist, wrote this article for Imphal Times
This article was posted on July 15, 2017.


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