The Indian Sub-continent is very vulnerable to floods especially during the Monsoon season. A flood is defined as a covering by water of land which is normally not covered by water. Floods may occur by overflowing of water bodies such as water lakes and rivers. It may also occur due to accumulation of rainwater over saturated ground. This year there has been widespread floods in places like Gujarat, Rajasthan and West Bengal in India, Bangladesh, Myanmar and parts of Pakistan.
There are numerous factors which aid in floods across India, Bangladesh, Myanmar, Nepal, Sri Lanka and Pakistan. Man-made factors include dams, reservoirs, opening of sluice gates which affect the areas along the river downstream and deforestation. Natural factors are heavy rains, altitude, terrain, proximity to water bodies, rivers, lakes etc.
Several places are low lying like Bangladesh and parts of West Bengal in India which aid in the floods in the region. There are some areas which experience floods almost every year like Assam and Bihar in India and parts of Myanmar.
During Monsoon season tropical systems (low pressure or depressions) develop in the Bay of Bengal and the Arabian Sea which affect India, Bangladesh, Myanmar and Pakistan. In northern India and Pakistan these tropical systems sometimes interact with sub-tropical systems (Western Disturbances) and produce heavy downpours which can result in flash floods or floods.
Floods wreak havoc and cause displacement of people, deaths and injuries, loss of livelihood, loss of standing crops and major damage to property. The threat of epidemic also comes into the equation once the flood waters recede.
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