Natural Disasters: the Budalangi Flood

The world is full of natural occurrences. Sometimes floods come when people are not aware. The Budalangi flood occurred when people believed that the dykes the government had constructed would protect them. When natural disasters occur, it is how people respond that determines the extent of the damage on human life.

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It was on a Monday, and people had woken up early to prepare their lands for planting (Birkmann 356). At 7 A.M in the morning, most of the parents had taken their young ones to school. It was the planting season, and most of the farmers were very busy on their farms.

At 7:30 A.M, the river started swelling. People knew that it was raining in the highlands. They just did not know how long it had been raining there. People continued with their work hoping that their crops would give them a good harvest that year.

By 8:00 A.M there was a big bang. People saw soil, water and rocks in the air. They got scared and ran to safety in their houses. A man asked his colleague, “What is happening?” Hussein answered, “I don’t know! Let us run for safety, and then we can find out.” Within a short time water was filling up the farms and the houses that were close to the river.

The massive flow of water had busted its banks and broken the dykes. Within a short time, the rooms were filling up with water. Everyone started looking for whatever they could reach and carry to the higher lands (Steinberg 418).

People were weeping and yelling for help. Some were running up and down trying to secure their young ones to safety (Coppola 268). Others were attempting to swim with two or three things they could save on their backs. Parents who had taken their children to school were busy trying to call the teachers to find out if their children were safe. Some parents swam so that they could get to more sheltered areas. The water had carried away some people who were trying to find their way to the higher lands.

An elderly man, who was still sleeping, suffocated when the water entered his house and covered his beddings. Some animals that could not reach the higher grounds died in the flood (Pinkowski 312). Some people loved their birds so much that some of them were carrying chicken in containers.

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The people lived in the Budalangi valley. Those who were not lucky to move on time had to climb on the roofs of houses. Others climbed nearby trees. Surprisingly, some of those trees could not hold them for a long time. Some trees fell. The incident killed about four people. Unfortunately, some people did not know how to swim. They held on to anything that could keep them alive.

As the survivors moved up the hill, it started raining. The water continued to fill up the valley (Coppola 268). One woman shouted to her husband, “Where is my baby!?” The man replied, “Do you mean you did not go back to the house to pick Sarah?” She wailed and said that she thought he had gone back to the house for the baby. He got to the house when water had reached his neck. He had to turn back because he knew he could not save anything in the house.

The Red Cross rescue team and the government rescue team arrived. They only had time to save a few people using the helicopter. Some were on top of their houses (Haerens and Zott 146). They also reached for those who had climbed the trees. They used boats to carry those who were trying to swim. They also had to carry some of the bodies of those who had already died.

When they got to the higher grounds, they realized that some of the residents needed immediate medical attention. Others needed counseling to overcome the grief. They first had to build some temporary shelters for them in the Highlands. Some had managed to carry some food stuff. But that could not be enough for all of them.

The rescue team quickly organized for some dry food stuff. They gave them some bottled water for drinking. They also took some parents to the school to be with their children since the school was on the adjacent Highland. The children were safe there because the floods did not reach the place (Miller 362). The school only provided rooms and desks. They needed blankets and some sleeping mats.

The residents had not anticipated that one day the flood would burst the dykes. But their response was drastic. During such incidences, there is no time to organize anything. People have to think first and make decisions. The only important thing is to find a place where it is safe. The government and residents need to form disaster management teams. They should train them so that in the case of such an occurrence people can skillfully save more lives.

Works Cited

Birkmann, Jörn. Measuring Vulnerability to Natural Hazards. Tokyo: United Nations University, 2006. Print.

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Coppola, Damon P. Introduction to International Disaster Management. Amsterdam: Butterworth Heinemann, 2007. Print.

Haerens, Margaret, and Lynn M Zott. Natural Disasters. Detroit: Greenhaven Press, 2013. Print.

Miller, Ruth Austin. Law in Crisis. Stanford, Calif.: Stanford University Press, 2009. Print.

Pinkowski, Jack. Disaster Management Handbook. Boca Raton: CRC Press, 2008. Print.

Steinberg, Theodore. Acts of God. New York: Oxford University Press, 2006. Print.

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