A flood is an overflow of water, an expanse of water submerging land, a deluge.
Since prehistoric times people have lived by the seas and rivers for the access to cheap and quick transportation and access to food sources and trade; without human populations near natural bodies of water, there would be no concern for floods.
However fertile soil in a river delta is subject to regular inundation from normal variation in precipitation.
Floods from the sea can cause overflow or overtopping of flood-defenses like dikes as well as flattening of dunes or bluffs.
Land behind the coastal defence may be inundated or experience damage.
A flood from sea may be caused by a heavy storm (storm surge), a high tide, a tsunami, or a combination thereof.
As many urban communities are located near the coast this is a major threat around the world.
In western countries, rivers prone to flooding are often carefully managed.
Defenses such as levees, bunds, reservoirs, and weirs are used to prevent rivers from bursting their banks.
Coastal flooding has been addressed in Europe with coastal defenses, such as sea walls and beach nourishment.