3.1.5 Floods

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3 1 5 inundacionesFloods are classified as a sudden-onset phenomenon. (Rapid flooding, rising rivers, and coastal flooding are all associated with tropical cyclones, tsunamis and storm tides)

The factors that influence the degree of damage, losses and harm are: amount of water, duration, the suddenness and velocity of the water flow, frequency of occurrence, and time of year. 

Floods cause adverse health effects such as drowning or injury during evacuation, as well as the consequences of landslides. 

In the short term, the impact of floods on the presence of communicable diseases is limited, though there is an increased risk of diseases transmitted by water and vectors, such as malaria and dengue. 

The impact of floods on health services infrastructure and vital systems can be extensive, and can result in scarcity and interruption of health services. Furthermore, where drinking water and sanitation services were insufficient to begin with, their loss constitutes an additional health hazard. 

Early warning systems such as climatological predictions can help affected communities to prepare for floods. Other important mitigation measures include coordinating water supplies and whatever water rationing is necessary.