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Conflict & War

What it is, and how we help

What is a flood?

Flash floods are unexpected and extreme volumes of water that flow rapidly. They are often difficult to forecast and leave communities little time to escape.

Structural damages after floods are common as structures may be swept away by water, become inundated, collapse or be damaged by the impact of floating debris. The primary cause of death during floods is drowning. Common injuries after flooding are small lacerations or punctures due to the presence of glass debris and nails, and electric shocks.

During the first phase of a flash food, families are often forced to find an area of safe high ground. Drinking water can be contaminated and sanitation is often a concern. During the second phase, when families return to their homes they face new challenges. Destroyed and contaminated water systems lead to an increased risk of diseases such as cholera or malaria following a flood.

The term landslide/mudslide describes downhill earth movements that can move slowly and cause damage gradually, or move rapidly, destroying buildings and endangering people’s lives. Most landslides are caused by natural forces or events, such as heavy rain or volcanic eruptions and often happen where they have happened before.

Landslides are typically associated with periods of heavy rainfall or rapid snowmelt and tend to worsen the effects of flooding. Areas burned by forest and brush fires are also particularly susceptible to landslides.

A child walks through a flooded area of Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh, as monsoon rains pour down.
Save the Children distribution of shelter kits for Rohingya refugees, Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh.

During monsoon rains in Cox's Bazar, Bangladesh, thousands of shelters were damaged or destroyed by heavy storms and deadly landslides, forcing people to move to temporary shelters. We worked with the local community to distribute vital shelter kits for the most at-risk households and improve critical infrastructure like drains and bridges.

How Save the Children respond

In general, when responding to a flood Save the Children will: