Floods: A Natural Hazard

Floods are another of the natural hazards that people around the world must deal with.

For the IGCSE, we need to look at all natural hazards in a similar way.

1) Where did it occur?

2) What caused it?

3) What was the immediate impact? (during the event)

4) What was the medium term impact? ( 1-2 weeks after the event)

5) What was the long term impact (in many cases the impact of a natural disaster can be felt for years after the event.)

6) Who helped the victims of the disaster?

7) Can anything be done to prevent future floods?

This note taking frame is a good way to structure your case study notes. Complete one of these for each flood studied.

You must

  • Describe when and where the flood took place.
  • Why people live in the area affected. (Why do people chose to live on a flood plain?)
  • The immediate and long term impact that these floods had.
  • What could be done to reduce the impact of flooding.

Case Study: South East Asia 2017

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News Report Project:

Using the information you have collected you are going to produce a special news report about one of the floods.

You will write, present and film the program. Each member of the group must present something and write their own script. I will expect the script to be handed in.

The program must contain the following.

  • A general introduction including geographical context.
  • The causes of the flood.
  • The scale of the flood (number of people affected)
  • The immediate impact of the flood.
  • The rescue and relief effort.
  • How peoples lives were affected immediately after the flood and in the following months.
  • The economic impact of the flood. This could be on a local, national and even international level.
  • Could anything have been done to prevent or reduce the impact or prevent the floods? If so, why wasn't it done?
  • 6 months on ......

I would like the report to include interviews with 'real people.' You can play the role of homeowners, business owners, members of the emergency services, politicians etc. In doing this you will be able to give a more personalized account of the flood.

For inspiration, here is a BBC documentary about the flooding in Britain in 2014.

Exam Style Questions:

  • For a named river which you have studied, explain the causes of flooding. [7]

  • Flooding occurs on the flood plains and deltas of some rivers. For a river which you have studied, explain what has been done to reduce flooding. [7]

  • In many parts of the world the natural environment presents hazards to people. Choose an example of the following:

tropical stormfloodingdrought

For a named area, explain the causes of the hazard which you have chosen and describe its impacts on people living there. [7]

  • Many people live and work on the flood plains of major rivers. Describe the advantages and difficulties for people of living on the flood plain of a river. You may refer to examples which you have studied. [7]

What Can be Done to Prevent Flooding?

The final part of your project is to discuss what could be done to prevent flooding in the future. In order to do this, you must first learn about the different methods of flood prevention.

We will start by studying what has been done on the Rhine.
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click on the map to learn more about flood protection on the Rhine.

This is a good overview of how the Rhine is being maganged.

Case Study: Basel and the Rhine, Flood Prevention

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Flood Control In Switzerland

Keeping the floodwaters at bay

As part of a project to protect the Lucerne area and its landmarks, the old town is undergoing a mix of reconstructive surgery and preventive medicine.

Swiss rethink flood control measures

Recent experiences have led to a complete change in thinking in favour of natural solutions instead of "technical" land management, explained geologist Aurèle Parriaux of Lausanne's Federal Institute of Technology.

"Rather than struggling against floods, we are learning to live with them. It takes time to put in place and create projects which communes and landowners accept," he said.

He highlighted the successful example of the third correction of the flow of the River Rhone in canton Valais, where farmers have been persuaded to allow their land to be used as flood plains when certain dykes and rivers are in danger of bursting their banks

Assessing flood risk inside Europe