resilience reporter

resilience starts with information

The World’s Most Catastrophic Floods, in Photos

Faster, clearer data on disasters might help shield women and children

When floods swept through this small town in Sri Lanka’s Southern Province, 12-year-old Radhika Dayarathne lost more than her home.

The floodwaters that destroyed her family’s house and most of their possessions also swept away her and her older brother’s school books, school bags and uniforms, leaving them uncertain whether they can return to school.

“What am I to do? My parents can’t afford new books, new clothes, new desks. We are ruined,” the small girl said with tears in her eyes.

Her school has become a shelter for those left homeless – but Radhika’s family stayed there only two days before moving to a hut near their old home, fearing the packed school wasn’t safe for their daughter…

 

The World’s Most Catastrophic Floods, in Photos

florence

A man paddles a small boat among wrecked cars on a waterlogged street in Florence, following the devastating flood of November 1966, during which the water of the Arno rose as high as 20 feet, submerging sculpture, paintings, mosaics and manuscripts in the city’s libraries. (Credit: Vittoriano Rastelli/Corbis via Getty Images)

Floods were considered a blessing by certain civilizations—the Egyptians relied on the Nile’s yearly overflow for fertile soil—but they also stand as some of history’s most devastating natural disasters. Whether due to heavy rains, storm surges or busted dams, deluges have often claimed thousands of lives and left whole cities in ruin. In some cases, they even permanently changed the planet’s geography…

 

 

 

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