Comparing Floods

Compare Floods in LEDC and MEDC I am going to discuss two case studies regarding floods. One of my case studies is of Cocker mouth, this is a town in England exposed to floods this is my case study of an MEDC. My other case study is the LEDC in which I talk about Bangladesh. Cocker mouth is situated in the Lake District in England. England is an MEDC and this area experienced vast ranges of flooding during late November. The town lies among the confluence of two rivers that leave it prone to flooding.

The two rivers are the Derwent and Cocker. 320mm of rainfall fell in under 24 hours and this was a predicted fall which took the town by surprise. The River Cocker burst its banks after a 2. 5 metre rise in the river water level; this was a major contribution to the flooding as well as the poor preparation of the towns flood defences. Bangladesh is an LEDC bordering the Indian Ocean and it lies at the forefront of the Ganges Delta. The country is low – lying and most of its land is 12m below sea level.

Floods here have recently become stronger. During the arrival of Cyclone Aila flood waters burst the delta causing storm surges of 10 metres! The floods in both Carlisle and Bangladesh caused a lot of problems for both areas. However in contrast, the MEDC (Carlisle) suffered less from the consequences, whereas, the LEDC (Bangladesh) was affected much worse. Heavy rainfall of 200mm fell over Carlisle in a 36 hour period. The constant rainfall increased runoff because soil became saturated, this runoff ended up flowing into the river Eden.

Because Carlisle is a largely urban area, concrete ground made from impermeable materials meant that surface runoff increased. There was a lot of discharge from the River Eden which reached 1520 cumecs. In contrast the Bangladeshi volume of precipitation was much higher so the floods were much worse. Very heavy rainfall amounting to 900mm fell over the month of July. Soils all over Bangladesh became saturated, this increased runoff into rivers such as the Ganges and Brahmaputra. Snow melted from glaciers in the Himalayas this also increased discharge into rivers.

The highest discharge for both of the biggest rivers in the area peaked at the same time, downstream discharge increased hugely. In Carlisle there was less social impact, 3 people died which is minimal compared to the 2000 deaths in Bangladesh. This is a very large amount of people and losing that many people creates a big social impact. 3000 people were made homeless in Carlisle, this is a very large amount of people, they were temporarily re – sheltered and have been re – homed since. In Bangladesh 25 million people were made homeless, many still haven’t been re – homed even in 2012. schools were flooded in the area but for people living in an MEDC there is likely to be more resources of learning available to them e. g. internet and more education centres in other parts of the country. 44 education institutions were destroyed in Bangladesh, this being a large amount means it is much harder to find other resources for educational purpose, and many people would have to go without it as it is not economically viable for poorer people in LEDCs to move into different parts of the country. 50 businesses were shut down and must have been relocated and 70,000 houses lost power, there was minimal infrastructural damage therefore repairs to the Carlisle area would not have been too expensive compared to the large scale damage in Bangladesh, factories had to shut down so large scale business went down bringing economy to a halt, 112,000 houses were completely destroyed and whole rivers in that area were polluted. The main social effect in Carlisle was the loss of homes and education centres, in Bangladesh it was the loss of homes, education centres and widespread of water borne disease.

The main economic problem in Carlisle was that the shops and local businesses on the area had to shut down as they had to evacuate, in Bangladesh many areas would have become redundant with major business corporations such as TNCs having to be shut down as many factories were destroyed. The main environmental problem in Carlisle was that the sewage overflowed therefore the streets would have been effected and the surrounding area also, in Bangladesh the Rivers became poisoned by sewage and majority of water supplies in the area became undrinkable.

In conclusion Carlisle in an MEDC had a less severe flood and because of its more affluent built up area people were affected in less of a tragic manner. Bangladesh LEDC was affected more and the and the outcome was more disastrous. In conclusion, it is apparent that both the MEDC and the LEDC experienced a variety of impacts producing a multiple chain of cost however impact severity was clearly more drastic in the case Bangladesh as it is an LEDC and its emergency plans and general infrastructure is less developed compared to England (MEDC).

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