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Effects of the natural disaster

Discuss about The South Part of Central British Columba.

Natural Disasters are a curse to people who get directly affected by it. These are the overflow of water that submerges lands and results in damaging the lives of the inhabitants residing in that region. Floods are often the result of excessive rains and overflow of lakes (Aerts et al., 2016). These are one of the destructive forms of natural disasters. Kamloops, the Canadian city in south-central British Columbia is the hometown of the largest community (Eagles, 2015). The city is situated at the conference of Kamloops Lake and the Thompson River. The city deals with the flood threat in almost every year. A combination of the rains and the melting of the spring snow lead to the rise in the water levels of the adjacent Kamloops Lake. Another city is the Kelowna. Situated in the Okanagan Valley in the southern interior of British Columbia, this city is the third largest metropolitan area. Like Kamloops, the residents of this area have been observing the issues of the flood in almost every year. The flood in this city is the result of a ton of moisture in the valley due to the rainfall which resulted in a saturated ground field that was unable to soak water from the melting snows. The warm temperature afterward resulted in melting of the snow at the same time of the rainy season thus causing the waters of the lake to overflow in the valley. This report analyses, the effects of the flood on the lives of the people residing in the two cities (Loucks & Van Beek, 2017). It further highlights the condition of buildings, the state of homelessness of millions and the governmental measures for it. The report focuses on the advancement of technology and also on what precautions can be taken in case of previous knowledge of the upcoming disaster.

The impact of the flood is effective on both individuals and communities. Flood has economic, social and cultural consequences in the lives of human residing in the affected area. The yearly flood trend in Kamloops and Kelowna region in the south of central British Columbia has been a topic of threat and anxiety for the residents of the location. The immediate impacts of flood include the death of human, property damage and building damages, crop destructions, deterioration of health factors (da Conceição et al., 2018). This report focuses on the damage and disruption in transportation and roads that are caused due to flood. These are the two key things that hamper the daily activities of the people in the two cities after the natural disaster. Besides, flood affects property and buildings of the city. The Kamloops and Kelowna region faces the degrading condition of constructions and buildings due to the impact of extreme tidal powers during the flood (Lendering, Jonkman & Kok, 2016). The power of the tides and the flood breaks down houses and buildings, thus resulting in the condition of homelessness for millions of inhabitants. Recent flood disaster in 2015 at Kamloops reported evacuation of 60 homes (Eagles, 2015). The effects of this natural disaster are severe. Floods damage the public infrastructure of the cities. The roads get flooded with water and the drainage system of both Kamloops and Kelowna region fails to cope up with the overgrowing water levels. People staying back face a hard time to travel and face major issues in transportation. Lack of vehicles and networks impact on the regional economies. The impacts of the flood on transportations and traffic are often intangible. Loss of time and environmental degradation due to the emission of additional Co2 are some of the dangerous effects of the flood (Thom, 2018). Flood damages the roads, railways and the key transport hubs like shipping ports. This results in the downturn of Kamloops and Kelowna regional tourism and the number of tourists reduces due to the flooding event.

The role of the government


Till date, the issue related to roads and traffic disruption after the flood event in Kamloops and Kelowna region. The residents in this region have been facing issues in their daily activities for long. Every year, the effects of this natural disaster have been a trauma and threat to the inhabitants of the area (Pasi & Bhave, 2015). Though there has been considerable development in the infrastructure of the roads and drainage system in the city, still a lot more development and advancement are required for successful prevention from the after-effects of these natural disasters.

Floods are not unpredictable to these regions. Every year the cities south-central British Columbia faces flood due to heavy rainfall and snow melts. The residents of the cities are thus expected to be prepared or be ready to face these kinds of disasters since there are high chances that flood will occur in those regions in the coming years again (Chang et al.,2014). In the era of rising globalization, it is quite a question if the yearly flood will discontinue.

Figure: 1

According to the latest reports, Kelowna mayor warns the residents of the city to get prepared for unprecedented flooding (Meuse, 2018). He further commented that as a community, all the people need to gather together and take care of each other. Residents take protective measures like building sandbags beams before their building to protect their property. They further prepare 72-hour emergency preparedness kits. Kelowna has been preparing for the flood for along. Creation of dams, barriers beside the lake and rivers are being made by the local authorities. The city of Kamloops has been facing the issues of the flood from June 2, 1972 (Meuse, 2018).

Several measures have been taken from that time but all failed before the ferocious water tides. The resident of the city uses mud and debris around their house and often the residents are forced to evacuate. The city is declared a local state of emergency before the flood hits the city. According to the mayor of Kamloops, there is always a backing up strategy from the rain waters and emergency social services in the city provide vouchers for the families who need places to move during the flood.

  Figure:2

The government plays a very important role in managing the flood scenarios in the Kamloops and Kelowna region.

In the city of Kamloops and Kelowna, some of the governmental measures that help the people in the city are:

  • Alerting all the residents of the city
  • Evacuating all the residents in a safe place before the flood hits the city
  • Preparation of the emergency kit (Dixon et al., 2016).
  • Emergency food stockings
  • Facilities of rainwater storages
  • Emergency social services to provide emergency aids to people
  • A safe home for homeless people
  • Making people aware not use candles and flames to lessen the risk of fire and carbon monoxide poisoning (Hamann & Wang, 2006).
  • The government asks people to check in on family or homes out of the city during the time of the year where flood occurs
  • Facilities of flood watch to watch over the city
  • Opening emergency operation centers in the city

These services by the government are more or less fast. People in these cities rely on the local government and their support. Throughout the last 45 years, Kamloops has been facing the yearly flood disaster and it is the government of the city which has been helping out the residents of this area.

Fig: 3

According to a recent report in the Global news, Kelowna has been spending millions for the damages due to flood. The city has started the expensive work of flood repairing recently. The initiative by the government to spend on the city is for the welfare and to prevent flooding in the future. According to the mayor of the city, sandbars are to be replaced by a functioning sediment pond. Keeping in mind about the public infrastructures and public safety, the government of Kelowna has initiated the repairing process so that there is no more flood damage in the near future of the city.

According to Peter Milobar, the mayor of Kamloops, it takes time for the city to be normal again. The houses and residential areas do not get the hydro or gas utilities for a few days and the cleanup procedure after the flood takes up some time. It takes a little while to get rid of the mud and the debris and drying up the wet surfaces before resuming back to the normal life. The government also provides financial assistance to the residents for reshaping and rebuilding their damaged properties.

Another most important effect of the natural disaster is the disruption in the power system. The residents of both cities face issues since it takes up a while for the local authorities and the government to set up new power plants and repair the old ones that were damaged due to flood. Citizens living near areas of power plants are thus always advised by the government to return back to their house after complete drying of the waterlogged streets and places.

The natural disaster, the flood has been a yearly threat to the residents of the cities of Kamloops and Kelowna. Innovative measures for the flood disaster management have been the topic of discussion in the recent era (Larsen et al., 2016). Researchers are now using high-end technological solutions for providing real-time forecast of the upcoming dangers and disasters of floods (Armenakis et al., 2017). Due to the high-end technological development, the governments of the Canadian cities of south-central British Columbia get to know about the upcoming flood disaster. As reported to the CBC news, Kelowna mayor warns the resident about the upcoming disaster so that the residents of the city get time to evacuate with necessary documents, perishable foods and required clothes before the flood hits the city.

Some of the suggested measures and precautions are taken by the residents of Kamloops and Kelowna region to lessen the impacts of the flood are:

  • Knowing directions and Evacuate before the floodwaters threaten the city.
  • Planning for an alternative place to stay in the flood time of the year
  • Clearing critical utilities like sockets, switches, electric panels
  • Moving valuable items, furniture, and documents to a safe place.
  • Purchasing flood insurance pack for getting financial protection for the cost required to repair the damage occurred due to flood.
  • Following flood warnings and flood watches so that people get adequate time to pack and leave(Meuse, 2018).
  • Understanding and knowing about the flood risk according to the area of stay
  • Monitoring weather reports by the local media news.
  • Avoiding stays in floodwater since the water may be contaminated by gasoline, oil or electricity.
  • Planning for a power back up since flood disrupts the power system of the entire city.

Conclusion

Floods are the most common form of disasters that affect the environment around. Some of the suggestive measures to handle the flood situations and to reduce the fear of flood in the cities of Kamloops and Kelowna include the introduction of better flood warning systems, modification of homes so that it can withstand floods, construction of building structures above flood levels, the introduction of water storages and more flood barriers. The current era showed effective changes in the climate conditions. Scientists believe this can contribute to the rise in extreme weather events like flooding and thus changes in climate need to be tackled.

References

Aerts, J. C., Bouwer, L. M., Winsemius, H. C., & Ward, P. J. (2016). FLOPROS: an evolving global database of flood protection standards. Natural Hazards and Earth System Sciences, 16(5), 1049.

Armenakis, C., Du, E. X., Natesan, S., Persad, R. A., & Zhang, Y. (2017). Flood Risk Assessment in Urban Areas Based on Spatial Analytics and Social Factors. Geosciences, (2076-3263), 7(4), 1-15, doi: 10.3390/geosciences7040123

Chang, F. J., Chen, P. A., Lu, Y. R., Huang, E., & Chang, K. Y. (2014). Real-time multi-step-ahead water level forecasting by recurrent neural networks for urban flood control. Journal of Hydrology, 517, 836-846.

da Conceição, E. D. O., Higuti, J., de Campos, R., & Martens, K. (2018). Effects of flood pulses on persistence and variability of pleuston communities in a tropical floodplain lake. Hydrobiologia, 807(1), 175-188.

Dixon, S. J., Sear, D. A., Odoni, N. A., Sykes, T., & Lane, S. N. (2016). The effects of river restoration on catchment scale flood risk and flood hydrology. Earth Surface Processes and Landforms, 41(7), 997-1008.

Eagles, D. (2015). After the flash flood, cleanup begins. Kamloops This Week. Retrieved from https://www.kamloopsthisweek.com/after-the-flash-flood-cleanup-begins/

Hamann, A., & Wang, T. (2006). Potential effects of climate change on ecosystem and tree species distribution in British Columbia. Ecology, 87(11), 2773-2786.

Larsen, T. A., Hoffmann, S., Lüthi, C., Truffer, B., & Maurer, M. (2016). Emerging solutions to the water challenges of an urbanizing world. Science, 352(6288), 928-933.

Lendering, K. T., Jonkman, S. N., & Kok, M. (2016). Effectiveness of emergency measures for flood prevention. Journal of Flood Risk Management, 9(4), 320-334.

Loucks, D. P., & Van Beek, E. (2017). Water resource systems planning and management: An introduction to methods, models, and applications. Springer.

Meuse, M. (2018). Kelowna mayor warns residents to prepare for unprecedented flooding. CBC/Radio-Canada. Retrieved from https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/bc-flooding-preparations-1.4110209

Pasi, A. A., & Bhave, U. (2015). Flood detection system using wireless sensor network. International Journal of Advanced Research in Computer Science and Software Engineering, 5(2).

Thom, S. (2018). West Kelowna spends millions on flood repairs. Global News. Retrieved from https://globalnews.ca/news/4060115/west-kelowna-spends-million-on-flood-repairs/

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