The Times yesterday: Elemental force
Record rainfall has brought disaster to Cumbria. As well as sympathy, the victims must be offered help, compensation and clear plans for better protection
Flooding has a huge and devasting impact on the communities they hit as well as the regional and national psyche as a natural hazard/disaster. This was one thing I learned in Geography of Natural Hazards at University.
We must be prepared to help and newspapers have reported on numerous acts of heroism including the Policeman that swept away when a bridge collapsed.
We must also be prepared to learn what we might we able to do better next time. The Environment Agency is engaged in this evaluation process; the Government does need to release more money for adequate prevention and protection measures. Government has promised not only emergency money but also to match funds by the Regional Development Agency.
My key question has always been: why do so many people live on flood plains? The answer comes back – because there is nowhere else!?
The Times 21/11/09 http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/comment/leading_article/article6926168.ece
‘The pictures seem as though they are from a distant continent. The raging brown water, the broken roads and bridges, the abandoned cars, and rescuers in inflatable boats ferrying families to safety: it looks more like a village hit by a Caribbean hurricane than the picturesque streets of Cockermouth. More than a foot of rain fell in Cumbria in 24 hours, as much as normally falls in the whole of November and an all-time record for England. More rain is on the way. The Lake District has been devastated by a natural disaster that has driven people from their homes, overwhelmed towns and villages and cost the life of a brave policeman, Bill Barker, who wa swept away when a bridge collapsed.’
The Independent on Sunday 22/11/09 http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/the-land-of-mud-and-destruction-1825550.html
‘People in Cumbria woke in misery and under threat of more rain today. Strong winds and heavy rains were sweeping across the region last night, causing rivers to rise again in an area that had been praying since Friday that the worst of its flooding was over.’