Floods are the most frequent type of natural disaster and occur when an overflow of water submerges land that is usually dry. Floods are often caused by heavy rainfall, rapid snowmelt or a storm surge from a tropical cyclone or tsunami in coastal areas. Floods can cause widespread devastation, resulting in loss of life and damages to personal property and critical public health infrastructure. Between 1998-2017, floods affected more than 2 billion people worldwide. People who live in floodplains or non-resistant buildings, or lack warning systems and awareness of flooding hazard, are most vulnerable to floods. There are 3 common types of floods: Flash floods are caused by rapid and excessive rainfall that raises water heights quickly, and rivers, streams, channels or roads may be overtaken. River floods are caused when consistent rain or snow melt forces a river to exceed capacity. Coastal floods are caused by storm surges associated with tropical cyclones and tsunami. Between 80-90% of all documented disasters from natural hazards during the past 10 years have resulted from floods, droughts, tropical cyclones, heat waves and severe storms. Floods are also increasing in frequency and intensity, and the frequency and intensity of extreme precipitation is expected to continue to increase due to climate change.
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