What Causes Floods?
The following are main causes of flooding in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
- Heavy rainfall resulting from tropical weather disturbances
- Improper agricultural practices
- Inadequate design of drainage channels and structures
- Inadequate maintenance of drainage facilities, blockage by debris brought by flood waters
- Construction of settlements in flood plains
Flooding is also a natural feature of drainage systems and of rivers and streams. It occurs when drainage channels are filled and the rivers and streams can no longer accommodate the excessive water generated by severe weather conditions. The drainage channels then overtop their natural or artificial banks and water enters the surrounding lands to cause flooding.
Also human activities, which damage the environment, for example, sand mining, deforestation and poor garbage disposal, increase the risk of flooding.
Areas most likely to be worst affected by flooding are:
- Low-lying coastal areas
- Areas near gully banks
- Flood plains of major rivers
- Lower sections of closed limestone valleys (e.g. Newmarket)
- Areas vulnerable to landslides
- Low-lying coastal towns and villages
Persons who live close to these areas are urged to be on the alert in case of a disaster as they are most vulnerable to flooding.
What are the Effects of Floods?
- Disrupt one's personal, economic and social activities.
- Set back the nation's security and development by damaging or destroying roads, buildings and other infrastructure.
- Cause death by drowning.
- Lead to insufficient food supply, which can lead to famine.
- Destroy crops and livestock.