SOCIO-ECONOMIC IMPACT OF FLOODS

    It is easy to say, and admittedly, floods have a tremendous socio-economic impact. Its main effect is to retard development. A flood-stricken area must first be restored to normal before any development activity can be carried out. Restoration can take time. The social and emotional trauma inflicted on the people usually have a short-term inhibiting effect on the community's drive. Hence, a little time can elapse before any concerted move for normalization can take place.

    Flood damage is incalculable. Assessment of damage attributable to floods alone is difficult. Floods usually occur in association with other natural destructive phenomena such as tropical cyclones. Except in rare cases such as the Angat River disaster of the late 70's where loss of lives and property is identifiably due to the flood alone, it is difficult to segregate damages caused by a flood and those which resulted from the associated phenomenon. Therefore, precise quantifiable damage is always difficult to estimate.

    In addition to the directly determinable losses may be added the indirect potential losses. These results from unproductivity in many areas - in business, in trade, in commerce, etc. All these losses can wipe out whatever gains that may have been achieved in economic development.