River flooding is a natural hazard that affects over 20 million people every year, nearly half of these in India, Bangladesh and China alone. Flooding on a regular and frequent basis can be due to their geographical location within monsoon or cyclone belts, or on river floodplains. Sometimes floods occur unexpectedly, due to unusual rainfall patterns or intensity, or failure or mismanagement of flood defence structures. Flood risk is expected to increase due to the combined threats of climate change, population growth and urban expansion. Measures to cope with this growing risk include traditional adaptive protection measures such as dams and levees. Satellite and drone technology, together with the use of social media, are increasingly applied to flood situations.
This Geography Factsheet will outline recent examples of flood events with a variety of scale and causes, and in countries that range widely in their ability to respond.
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