A flood happens when too much rain falls.

Storms can cause floods.

In a flood, water from rivers flows over the land.

Flood water enters houses and other buildings.

A flood is a a great flowing or overflowing of water onto land that is not usually submerged. A flood happens when too much rain, brought by storms and strong winds, falls and cannot be absorbed by the soil. Rivers burst their banks and the water spills onto the land. Strong winds blowing across the sea make huge waves that surge onto the land and flood coastal areas.

Types of Floods
River Floods
Rivers floods happen when rivers and streams cannot carry away all the extra water that falls as rain or comes from melting snow. The water rises in the rivers and streams and overflows onto normally dry land. Floods destroy farmland, wash away people's houses and drown people and animals. Towns and cities are flooded too.

Coastal flooding can be caused by strong winds blowing waves onto the land. Hurricanes and major storms produce most coastal floods. Very high tides and tsunamis also flood the coasts. In many countries, large groups of people live along the coasts and for these people coastal flooding can be very serious. Thousands of people have been drowned in coastal flooding in many parts of the world.

Flash Floods
A flash flood is a quick flood caused by a sudden cloudburst or thunder storm. Huge amounts of water fall in a short time and in cities and towns the drains overflow and roads become flooded. Flash floods also happen in mountainous areas, where steep slopes cause the water to travel at high speeds. The rushing water erodes the soil, washing it away down the slopes. Flash floods often occur rapidly and with little warning.

Humans may also cause floods
Floods sometimes occur when artificial structures such as dams fail. If the dam is poorly designed or built in a place where earthquakes and landslides occur, the dam will break and the water floods the land. One dam failure in the United States of America occurred in 1972 when a dam used to store waste from a coal mine as well as water, collapsed after three days of rain. The flood drowned 118 people and caused $65 million in damages.

When floodwaters rise slowly people have time to get ready. They can move themselves and some of their property to higher ground, or build barriers to keep the water out of their homes. Sometimes the water rises quickly and people and cars get caught in the flood. Water gets into buildings causing damage, things are washed away, and people have to leave their homes.

You can read about the science of floods, flood fighters, pet rescues, and accounts of flood survivors here:


Acknowledge this source in your bibliography like this:
Thomas, Ron & Sydenham, Shirley. Floods. [Online] www.kidcyber.com.au 2009

Back to Planet Earth

April 2013 copyright © kidcyber

 Please contact kidcyber if you find broken links etc. that need repair.