Floods, one of world’s major disasters, it caused many untold destruction. But are the effects flooding greater in Less Economically Developed Country (LEDC) or in More Economically Developed Country (MEDC)? It is proved that the effects of flooding in the LEDC are a lot greater than in the MEDC. For instance, in 1952 and 1998, devastating floods in Lynmouth and Bangladesh occurred. Both places are unable to cope with the large amount of rainfall, therefore they are flooded. However because Lynmouth is a MEDC and Bangladesh is a LEDC, the effects of the flood is a lot worst in Bangladesh than Lynmouth.
To justify that, there are several of comparison that will proved that the effects of flooding is worse in the LEDC than in the MEDC. Firstly, the duration of the flood in Lynmouth only lasted 1 night, but however the duration of flood in Bangladesh lasted over 56 days! (Duration of the flood)(Geobytesgcse November 21st 2010). The severity is unimaginable. For Lynmouth, over 100 buildings were destroyed or damaged; also 28 out of the 31 bridges were destroyed, 130 cars destroyed and 19 boats lost in sea or destroyed.
The force of the water was so strong until it was able to transport large amount of debris. In total, 34 people died, and 420 were made homeless. (Severity of the flood in Lynmouth)( Geobytesgcse and Wikipedia November 21st 2010). Compare to Bangladesh this is nothing. For Bangladesh Over two thirds of the land area was covered by water and the capital, Dhaka, was 2m underwater. 30 million people were made homeless and 1,070 people died, health problems increased the number of deaths further. (Severity of the flood in Bangladesh)(ibid).
The effects of the flood covered Barle, Exe, Heddon, Simonsbath and Bray, but the worst effects were at Lynmouth. (Scope of flood in Lynmouth)(Ibid). Over two thirds of the land area was covered by water and capital, Dhaka was 2m underwater. (Scope of flood in Bangladesh) (ibid). “Physical (natural) causes of flooding in Bangladesh”. Bangladesh is a very low lying country, with 70% of its land area is less than 1 m above sea level and 80% of it is being floodplain, therefore flooding is relatively easy. Causes from geological landscape)(Geobytesgcse November 21st 2010)
Bangladesh receives large amount of water passing through two main rivers (the Ganges and Brahmaputra). Both rivers have large volumes of water flowing through them to the sea as they have large drainage basins which increases the flood risk. (ibid)(ibid). Also Bangladesh has a monsoon climate, which had resulted in the exceeding capacity of water of the rivers which resulted in the flooding. (Causes from climatic features)(ibid).
In spring , the melting snow from the Himalayas further increase the flood risk as more water is being added to the rivers. (ibid)(ibid). “Human causes of flooding in Bangladesh” (Geobytesgcse November 21st 2010). Increasing population in the foothills of the Himalayas where the rain contributes to the source of the River Ganges and Brahmaputra has resulted in intense deforestation. The reduction of trees absorbing water has created a major issue and had played a major role the flood.
Deforestation is responsible for the increased soil erosion which led to large amount of silt washed into the rivers, reducing channel capacity, increasing the risk of a flood. Bangladesh is an LEDC therefore it lacks the money to spend it on flood protection and defense methods, even if they can afford to build it they would not be able to maintain them due to the expensive upkeep. Geobytesgcse The causes of the flood of Lynmouth are mostly geological.
Lynmouth had received above average rainfall for 12 out of the first 14 days of the month causing the soils to be already saturated and river levels high. Climatic causes)(Geobytesgcse November 21st 2010) On August 15th 1952, a very heavy thunderstorm was present which resulted in 200mm of rainfall in just 14 hours, the heavy rain combined with the already saturated soil due to the continuous rainfall before, causing a huge volume of water flowing down the river. (ibid)(ibid). Relatively small drainage basins with steep sides only make matters worse as it encourages rapid flow of the rainwater to flow to the river, therefore rapidly increasing the water levels of the river. (Flood causes) (ibid).
Geobytesgcse “Positive effects of flooding in Bangladesh” (Geobytesgcse November 21st 2010), it provides water for the crops, when flooding occurs; there is friction between the water and the ground. The loss of energy results in the deposition of rich fertile soil, which ended up providing important nutrients enabling people to grow crops. The deposition of silt also creates land upon people can live – for example the Ganges delta has been formed this way as deposition had occurred where the river has entered the Bay of Bengal. (ibid)(ibid). Negative effects of flooding in Bangladesh” (Geobytesgcse November 21st 2010), over two thirds of the land was covered by water and the capital, Dhaka was 2m underwater.
30 million people were homeless. (ibid)(ibid). 1,070 people died, most of these deaths were resulted from drowning, however some were caused by health problems, due to the contamination of water by the dead bodies of animals and people, the lack of clean water encourages the spread of diseases such as cholera and typhoid. (ibid)(ibid). Food supplies were severely affected as the flood had destroyed rice stocks with a total of 668,529ha of crops. ibid)(ibid). this is a huge impact to the world’s economy as, as Bangladesh’s export industries had suffered a 20% decrease in production with over 400 clothing factory forced to close. (ibid)(ibid). “Effects of flooding in Lynmouth” (Geobytesgcse November 21st 2010), sadly however there are no positive effects from the flood in Lynmouth. Overnight, over 100 buildings were destroyed or seriously damaged along with 28 of the 31 bridges, 130 cars and 19 boats, the force of water was able to transport large amounts of debris.
In total, 34 people died, with a further 420 made homeless. (ibid)(Wikipedia November 21st 2010). Flood relief was implanted after the flood to try to minimize the loss of life. “Short term relief solutions in Bangladesh” (Geobytesgcse November 21st 2010). Firstly international food aid programs were held, there is distribution of free seeds from the government in order to reduce the major impact on the food shortages, and the government also gave the victims 350,000 tonnes of cereal. “Long term relief solutions in Bangladesh” (Geobytesgcse November 21st 2010).
The solutions are that embankments were constructed right next to the flood plain rivers in order to increase channel capacity and restrict flood waters. More flood protections are built to shelter both animals and people from future floods. (ibid)(ibid). Emergency flood warning systems, plans and medical stores are planned in order to minimize the damages in future floods. (ibid)(ibid). Flood proof storages are constructed to prevent floods to destroy the grain, therefore preventing food shortages. (ibid)(ibid). “Flood management strategies for Lynmouth” (Geobytesgcse November 21st 2010).
There was many management strategies for Lynmouth that was devised in order to prevent floods like this in the future. First off the mouth of the East Lyn River was widened to increase capacity and to allow more water to pass through quickly into the Bristol Channel. The West Lyn River was straightened to increase channel efficiency by increasing the velocity and reducing the friction of the water, allowing it to travel faster. (ibid)(ibid). Bridges were made wider and taller to allow flood water to travel quickly underneath them to prevent the bridges from collapsing. (ibid)(ibid).
More embankments were built right next to the Lynmouth river to increase channel capacity, to prevent the likely hood and a flood occurring again. (ibid)(ibid). More trees were planted upstream in order to reduce the initial rainfall before the flood. The tree roots also helps by keeping the soil saturated for sometime by absorbing them. (ibid)(ibid). Overall, MEDCs usually have better flood protection and the effects are not that damaging comparing to LEDCs. “Reason why LEDCs effect of flooding is worse” (Geobytesgcse November 21st 2010). Firstly, poor quality housing can’t withstand the strong force of the flood.
Poorly built infrastructure is easily damaged. (ibid)(ibid). Lack of sanitation and clean water supplies contributes in the loss of lives during a flood. (ibid)(ibid). It is difficult to organize rescue teams, because of the lack of funding for training; with a lack of money the LEDC cannot afford flood defenses. (ibid)(ibid). The country solely relies aid from other countries as it could not provide aid for itself. (ibid)(ibid). Also it is difficult to mobilize rescue things, because as I had already said that LEDC do not have the financial capability to afford the training.
Not only that most of the areas with be isolated during the flood, due to the debris from damaged infrastructures. Most LEDCs concentrate their funds on exporting goods, again lack of funds for flood defenses. Again due to poverty most of LEDCs population settle compactly and in small areas and the population are usually massive therefore some are force to live on floodplains or flood prone areas. “Reason why MEDCs effect of flooding is slightly better” (Geobytesgcse November 21st 2010). It is due to the reason that MEDC’s homes are stronger because they are constructed from better and stronger.
Governments in MEDCs have the ability to invest more on flood defenses systems because they are more financially stable. (ibid)(ibid). The government of MEDC usually discourages new estates being built on flood plain areas or areas which are prone to flooding. As I had already stated earlier, I agree that the effects of flooding in LEDC’s are significantly greater than in MEDC’s due to the country’s inability to cope with major disasters. The comparison I did on the floods that occurred in Bangladesh and Lynmouth should already clearly proven this statement.