Swollen water flow following incessant monsoon rainfall causing flood and lanslide, near Meppady Puthumala in Wayanad, Friday, Aug 9, 2019. Photo: PTI
Words cannot adequately describe the suffering caused by the deluge in many parts of the country. Floods were once occasional occurrences but they have become more regular in recent years. While rain is a necessity and a boon, it becomes a bane when it causes devastation. Visuals of vast, immeasurable tracts of land inundated with floodwater speak of the scale of the damage. The saddest thing is that the floods have led to loss of life. The stories of the victims are too harrowing. Of course, it is not within man’s power to prevent the occurrence of natural disasters. But the thing is they are made worse by human factors. By identifying and tackling these factors that aggravate the impact of flood, we can manage them and prevent their intensity.
Remedial action must be taken on unscientific land use, quarrying and mining, deforestation, unsustainable agricultural practices and failure to maintain water bodies and wet lands to hold maximum water. By taking proactive steps, we can minimise flood fury. The correlation between climate change and extreme weather events like floods needs to be studied and understood to take both short-term and long-term corrective measures. It is worth pointing out that in case of a natural disaster like a deluge, the poor are especially vulnerable. Many live precariously in thatched, mud huts in flood-prone areas. Farmers bear the brunt of the floods as their standing crops are damaged. The loss of cattle puts financial strain on the people in flood-affected areas. Once the waters recede, we will see the trail of destruction the deluge left behind it.
G David Milton, Maruthancode
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