Floods are a natural hazard. There have been many devastating floods in the past decade. Different countries have reacted differently during and after the floods have occurred. Some countries have needed economic help during these times. Some countries were able to give detailed warning and saved many lives in doing so. Developed countries have the money to warn its people of any floods or other natural hazards which may affect a community. Developing countries often do not have the resources or money to start a rescue of people after the disaster occurs. They have to rely on the United Nations (UN) or developed countries to donate money. Pakistan experienced a flood in July 2010 in monsoon season. The monsoon flood was expected but the size was not expected. Many people lost their lives and property. Australia experienced a flood in Queensland during late December 2010 and January 2011. The devastation of the flood was not expected and many people were caught out in the northern part of the rivers. Both of these floods had similar causes. The impact was different because Pakistan usually floods every year so damages are normally expected. Responses were different due to the country’s wealth at the time. Both countries can implement new policies so the next floods will not lead to as many deaths or damages.
Meteorologists are starting to believe climate change and rising sea levels are leading to bigger and more vicious floods across the earth. The cause of the Australian floods was the low pressure systems which brought rain. The heavy rain in December 2010 which went for two weeks led to the river systems becoming overwhelmed by the amount of water. Queensland experienced most rain since 1974. The Brisbane River, Mary River, Condamine/Balonne River, Burnett River and Fitzroy burst its banks. The Pakistani floods were caused by monsoon rains in July. These monsoon rains come every year but in 2010 the rain was above average. With longer and more persistent rains in 2010 this led to a bigger flood plain. Pakistan has flat landscape which leads to a bigger flood plain. These factors made the flooding of 2010 more catastrophic than previous years. The difference between the two floods was
the type of landscape where the flood occurred. Pakistan does not have mountains or any other features in the land to limit the flood plain. The heavy rain caused both floods. Impacts
The impacts of the floods were very different. The life lost in Pakistan was estimated at 1,540 people while in Australia the loss of life was around 35 people. The loss of life in Pakistan was due to poor warning and failure to help those who were trapped. The structure of the houses in Pakistan was not built to stay together in a flood. The Australian houses in flood areas are built with waterproof walls and to only have the garage downstairs. The Australian is estimated to cost $6 billion to rebuild all of the structures which were damaged or destroyed during the floods. The Pakistani floods were estimated to cost around $9 billion. There are many areas in Pakistan were flooding occurs every year and the people know how to rebuild their homes. There are some positives of floods. Pakistan needs to be flooded every year otherwise crops will not grow. The soil needs the flood water every year so it has nutrients for crops to grow. The Australian environment does not need to be flooded every year. Australia has four seasons while in Pakistan there is a wet and dry season. Australia experiences rain in every month of the year. Flooding leads to the sewage system becoming blocked and the system can block up. If people drink the dirty water it leads to them fatal diseases and eventually death. Many people in Pakistan died months after the disaster due to diseases caused by the floods. The Australian floods did not cause diseases because Australians health system has more doctors and medicine. The Australian doctors were on helicopters helping people as survivors were being rescued. In Pakistan many people had to wait for long amounts of time for Red Cross doctors to help them. Some of the infected did not know they had any diseases and therefore did not seek medical attention from Red Cross doctors. The Queensland government set up centres in high areas for people to go somewhere during the flood. The Pakistani government did not have the money to organise anything like this on a big scale. People stayed in their homes and prayed. This was a significant factor in the deaths which were suffered. Responses
The two governments acted very different after the floods occurred. The
Queensland and Australian government agreed on an interim report which would include what happened and how it could be prevented in the future. The people of Australia felt the inquiry was a success and now plans are being put in place to stop the reoccurrence of major flooding again. Dams across Queensland are going to be emptied by 75% if there is the same forecasting for the 2010/11 floods. This will reduce the amount of flooding. The Pakistani government asked from help from many governments and the UN. Canada was the first and larger contributor to the Pakistani Flood Relief Fund. Canada originally donated around $25 million. Between August 2 and October 3 Canada donated $46.8 million. The people of each country acted very differently. In Australia an extraordinary event took place. Days after the floods citizens volunteered in masses to clean up the capital of Queensland, Brisbane and many other big towns. People donated money and clothes to give to those who had lost all their belongings. Australia citizens united to help people who had no liveable home left. The Pakistani people did not come together during this time. After the floods the crime rates rose in flooded areas.
Preventions can be used by both governments to prevent damage and death in future floods however, money is not unlimited. Both governments need cheap and effective methods to stop floods causing major damage. The Australian government should create some man made rivers which can be opened and closed. When flood water is coming the river can be opened and flood water can be diverted. If dams are put in they can be damaged through flooding and they are expensive to make and repair. The build time for dams can be up to twenty years. The Bureau of Meteorology should be able to predict flooding when mass amounts of rain have fallen. The people of places were flooding occurs should be better informed and know how to react before and during a flood. The Pakistani government have to implement basic policies to prevent the damage and devastation of flooding. The warning of flooding needs to be better. They must improve or create their evacuation plan of people in areas of flooding. The population need to be educated about flooding and they need to have an evacuation plan. People need to be immunised to protect themselves against diseases which are brought with the flood water. Malaria
caused many unnecessary deaths after the flood struck. After the flooding occurs medical personnel need to be their quicker to help save more lives. The police and military must try to prevent crime and theft during the tough times. The citizens must try to help each other to lower cost of clearing flooded areas. Both governments need to prioritise and decide which issues need to be dealt with first. Bibliography
http://www.csiro.au/en/Outcomes/Environment/Australian-Landscapes/Understanding-Floods.aspx http://www.idsa.in/idsacomments/PakistanFloodsCausesandConsequences_mbisht_190810 http://mceer.buffalo.edu/infoservice/disasters/pakistan-floods-2010.asp
Flood, Horror and Tragedy by Agnew P and F Association, published 2011 by Southern Education Managements. The Interim Report released by the Queensland government. It can be accessed via: http://www.floodcommission.qld.gov.au/publications/interim-report/