Throughout this decade, we’ve experienced and endured quite a few severe natural disasters. Whether it be earthquakes in Chile or Haiti, a hurricane in New Orleans, or a tsunami in Ao Nang, Thailand, these powerful natural forces illustrate the amazing, yet catastrophic, side of nature. Currently, Pakistan is suffering greatly from floods and mudslides that have resulted from monsoons. As CNN reports, an estimated 1,100 people have already been killed and thousands more are stranded on rooftops trying to escape the rising waters. The monsoons have destroyed twenty five bridges, washed away 58 kilometers of road, and damaged thousands of acres of crops. Plus, weather officials predict more monsoon rains today.
When Chile battled the 8.5 quake, the country greatly benefited from strict building codes. Yet, we know that many countries do not implement the same kinds of construction guidelines nor adequate flood control systems, plus the poverty levels in countries leave the less fortunate even more vulnerable. Jackie Craven’s architecture blog for About.com shows different strategies designed by architects and civil engineers to control flood water in their low-lying countries.
Take a look at some of the solutions. Would any of these solutions work in Pakistan?
Check out these movable flood barriers made of hollow steel in England that prevent flooding along the Thames River. The gates have prevented floods more than 100 times because they can revolve open to allow ample room for ships to pass, or revolve shut to prevent any water from flowing through.
In Japan, water gates are automated using “aqua-drive” motors. These motors, which do not require any electricity, measure water pressure and either open or close the gates.
In Holland, a movable storm surge barrier built in 1997 is one of the largest moving structures in the world. It has computerized walls that close when water rises. As the water fills the tanks along the barrier, the weight pushes the walls down, preventing the water from passing through.
In the Netherlands, there is a series of movable dams along the Rhine River. This one, the Hagestein Weir, which was built back in the 1960s, has two arched gates that rotate downward to block the channel. The dam also generates powers on the Lek River near the village of Hagestein.
Our thoughts are with all those involved and affected by the monsoon. Help Pakistan here.