Flash Floods – UPSC GS3

What is a Flash Flood?
A flash flood is a rapid flooding of geomorphic low-lying areas: washes, rivers, dry lakes and basins. It may be caused by heavy rain associated with a severe thunderstorm, hurricane, tropical storm, or meltwater from ice or snow flowing over ice sheets or snowfields. Flash floods may occur after the collapse of a natural ice or debris dam, or a human structure such as a man-made dam
Flash Flood in India:
  • WMO estimates that flash floods account for 85% of flooding incidents across the world, leading to around 5,000 deaths every year.
  • While normal flood warning system is fully developed, India has not developed proper warning system for Flash Floods yet.
  • At present in India, Central Water Commission (CWC), which monitors dams, warns of rising water levels in water reservoirs, which are usually taken to be signs of imminent floods.
  • Recently CWC has recently tied up with internet giant Google to develop software application to visualise rising water levels during heavy rains.
New role for India:
  • World Meteorological Organization (WMO) has designated India as nodal centre for developing customized model to issue advance warning of floods to Asian countries, including Vietnam, Sri Lanka, Myanmar and Thailand.
  • The model will be called as Flash Flood Guidance System.
  • Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) under Ministry of Earth Sciences will work to customize this weather model.
  • Like India, several southeast Asian countries depend on monsoon and are prone to its vagaries.
  • India currently has its own warning system for tsunamis that also doubles up warning system for several Asian countries.
Flash Flood Guidance System
  • The model will provide forecasts by computing likelihood of rainfall and soil moisture levels to warn of possible floods.
  • It will carry out forecasts by using combination of satellite mapping and ground-based observation.
  • It will be customized weather model, originally developed by US and donated to WMO to warn about flash floods at least six hours in advance.
  • It already has carried out test version of this model.
  • Pakistan was among list of beneficiary countries of this forecast model, but it has refused to participate in it.

1 thought on “Flash Floods – UPSC GS3”

  1. @ias4sure
    Please give ur compilation It gets really hard to read scattered links..
    Please upload compilation too… it’ll be easy to revise..
    N thanks a lot for daily effort.

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