The flood, floods and mythic flood stories 1 Flooding and Water-waves

Two weeks ago we had a bible study in Newburry, Mons and Leefdaal, about The Great Flood and the floods in this world and time system.

Today we are going to look at more than just some floods or water rises which took place on this globe.

We are going to talk about more than ordinary high-water stages in which water overflowed its natural or artificial banks onto normally dry land, such as a river inundating its floodplain.

Gran Chaco floodplain (Encyc. Britannica)


Throughout the ages there have always been several floods or periods where water streamed over land or bringing an overflow to fields. In such instances the water submerging the agricultural planes brought wellbeing of man, though inundation did also bring disasters or catastrophes to mankind.

Flooding having become part of man’s life, since his exclusion from the Garden of Eden. It can well be the four streams of the Royal Garden sometimes also had their waters deluged part of lands, but never to bring harm over the living beings. After the fall of man danger of flooding entered the life of human beings. Man also came to know the good of flooding and as such also made use of it, having also controlled floodings.

Recharting rivers caused uncontrolled floodings which caused several people to suffer.

Storms or excessive rainfall over brief periods of time as, for example, the floods of Paris (1658 and 1910), of Warsaw (1861 and 1964), of Frankfurt am Main (1854 and 1930), and of Rome (1530 and 1557) caused considerable damage and where in most cases uncontrollable.
Photograph Potentially disastrous floods may, however, also result from ice jams during the spring rise, as in the case of the Danube (1342, 1402, 1501, and 1830) and of the Neva (in the Soviet Union, 1824); from storm tides such as those of 1099 and 1953 that flooded the coasts of England, Belgium, and The Netherlands; and from tsunamis or water waves, the mountainous sea waves caused by earthquakes, as in Lisbon, Portugal in 7000–6000 BCE, 60 BCE, 1531 CE and in 1755, the Storegga Slide  ≈6225–6170 BCE. For the Common Era the earliest recorded tsunami was during the Persian siege of the sea town Potidaea, Greece. The Greek historian Herodotus reports how the Persian attackers who tried to exploit an unusual retreat of the water were suddenly surprised by “a great flood-tide, higher, as the people of the place say, than any one of the many that had been before”. Herodotus attributes the cause of the sudden flood to the wrath of Poseidon. The Greek historian Thucydides (3.89.1–6) also describes how a tsunami and a series of earthquakes affected the raging Peloponnesian War (431–404 BCE) and, for the first time in the history of natural science, associated quakes with waves in terms of cause and effect.   Hawaii (Hilo, 1946),

English: A picture of the 2004 tsunami in Ao N...
 A picture of the 2004 tsunami in Ao Nang, Krabi Province, Thailand.(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake, killing 230,000–280,000 people in 14 countries, and inundating coastal communities with waves up to 30 metres (100 ft) high being one of the deadliest natural disasters in recorded history. Indonesia was the hardest-hit country, followed by Sri Lanka, India, and Thailand. The 2009 Samoa earthquake and tsunami, bringing damage to American Samoa, Samoa and Tonga (Niuatoputapu) where more than 189 people were killed, especially children, most of them in Samoa. The 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami with the most powerful earthquake ever recorded to have hit Japan, and the fourth most powerful earthquake in the world since modern record-keeping began in 1900. Japan really had already a big portion of tsunamis, being hit in 684 CE (Hakuhō Nankai earthquake), 869 (Jogan Sanriku earthquake), 887 (Ninna Nankai earthquake), 1293 (Kamakura earthquake), 1361 (Shōhei Nankai earthquake), 1498 (Nankai earthquake), 1605 (Nankai earthquake), 1707 (Hōei earthquake), 1741 western side of Oshima Peninsula, Ezo (Hokkaido) hit by a tsunami associated with the eruption of the volcano on Oshima Ōshima island, 1771 (Great Yaeyama Tsunami), 1792 (Unzen earthquake and tsunami), 1854 Ansei great earthquakes with 80,000–100,000 deaths, 1855 Edo (Tokyo) region Ansei Edo earthquake, 1896 Sanriku earthquake also hit in 2005, 1923 Great Kantō earthquake, 1933 Sanriku earthquake, 1944 Tōnankai earthquake, 1946 Nankai earthquake, 1964 Niigata earthquake, 1983 Sea of Japan earthquake, 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami.

Marina Beach i Chennai efter den första tsunam...
Marina Beach i Chennai efter den första tsunami vågen den 26 december 2004. Fotograferad av Henryk Kotowski. GFDL (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Floods can be measured for height, peak discharge, area inundated, and volume of flow. These factors are important to judicious land use, construction of bridges and dams, and prediction and control of floods.

The floods of an individual stream are often highly variable from month to month and year to year. A particularly striking example of this variability is the flash flood, a sudden, unexpected torrent of muddy and turbulent water rushing down a canyon or gulch. It is uncommon, of relatively brief duration, and generally the result of summer thunderstorms in mountains. A flash flood can take place in a single tributary while the rest of the drainage basin remains dry. The suddenness of its occurrence causes a flash flood to be extremely dangerous.

Figure 5. A village near the coast of Sumatra ...
A village near the coast of Sumatra lies in ruin on January 2, 2005 after the devastating Tsunami that struck on Boxing Day 2004 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A flood of such magnitude that it might be expected to occur only once in 100 years is called a 100-year flood. The magnitudes of 100-, 500-, and 1,000-year floods are calculat­ed by extrapolating existing records of stream flow, and the results are used in the design engineering of many water resources projects, including dams and reservoirs, and other struc­tures that may be affected by catastrophic floods.

A landslide of 120,000,000 tonnes of rock, much of which displaced water from Lake Lauerz causing a tsunami that flooded lake side villages and resulted in the confirmed death of 457 people at the 1806 Goldau landslide.

The powerful typhoon Emma (1956), one of several typhoons to cause significant damage to Okinawa during the mid-1950s, brought 140 mph (230 km/h) winds and 22 inches (560 mm) of rain to Okinawa (then US territory of the Ryukyu Islands) and South Korea.

Snake Gorge, also called Wadi Bimah, a gorge or wadi in the Ad Dakhiliyah Region of Oma, presented also its water rising bringing people in danger (1996, 2006, 2014).

Flood radar for May 2004 Caribbean floods
Flood radar for May 2004 Caribbean floods (Photo credit: Wikipedia)



Profitable disasters

Facing disaster fatigue

To be continued with: The flood, floods and mythic flood stories 2 Mythic theme 1 God or gods warning


Additional reading

  1. Certainty in a troubled world
  2. Reacting to Disasters
  3. Weekly World Watch 24th – 30th Oct 2010‏
  4. Syrian capital facing total destruction in the coming months
  5. Newsweek asks: How ignorant are you?
  6. We are ourselves responsible



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