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  • 4th December 2023

    General Studies III (Disaster Management)

    Topic – Urban Floods

    Q3. Discuss the major causes and consequences of urban floods. Highlight the key measures that need to be taken for effective disaster management. (10 Marks, 150 Words)

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    Approach:

    • In the introduction write about the urban floods causes and consequences of the urban floods.
    • Highlight the key measures that need to be taken for effective disaster management.

    Answer:

    Urban floods are primarily caused by a combination of natural and human factors. Natural causes include heavy rainfall, cyclones, or tropical storms, while human causes involve poor urban planning, inadequate drainage systems, encroachment on water bodies, and climate change.

    The consequences of urban floods are significant and widespread. They include loss of lives, displacement of populations, damage to infrastructure and property, disruption of essential services, contamination of water sources, spread of waterborne diseases, and economic losses.

    Key measures need to be taken for effective disaster management in urban flood situations are as follows:

    • Comprehensive urban planning: Implementing comprehensive urban planning that considers flood risk assessment, proper land-use planning, and the preservation of natural drainage systems and floodplains. Water-sensitive urban design (WSUD) in Australia redefines urban stormwater runoff and wastewater as valuable resources rather than problems to be solved.
    • Sustainable drainage systems: Developing and maintaining sustainable

    drainage systems that can handle excess rainfall, including the construction of retention ponds, green infrastructure, and permeable surfaces to minimize surface runoff.

    • Early warning systems: Establishing effective early warning systems that can provide timely alerts to residents, enabling them to evacuate or take necessary precautions.
    • Community participation: Encouraging active community participation in disaster management through awareness campaigns, training programs, and involving local communities in decision-making processes.
    • Improved infrastructure: Investing in resilient infrastructure, such as flood- resistant buildings, elevated roads, and strengthened embankments, to withstand flooding and minimize damage.
    • Climate change adaptation: Integrating climate change adaptation strategies into urban planning, including measures like water-sensitive urban design, reforestation, and promoting sustainable practices to mitigate the impacts of climate change.
    • Collaborative governance: Fostering collaboration and coordination among various stakeholders, including government agencies, NGOs, private sectors, and local communities, to ensure effective disaster response and recovery.
    • Data-driven approach: Utilizing advanced technologies and data analysis to improve flood forecasting, mapping vulnerable areas, and enhancing the accuracy of flood risk assessments.

    The proper implementation of these measures, urban areas can enhance their resilience to floods, reduce the impact on lives and infrastructure, and create sustainable and disaster-resilient cities.

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