CBSE Class 10 Unseen Passage With Answers

The following passage appeared in the Class 10 English Language and Literature exam conducted by CBSE in 2023.

Read the following passage carefully:

Floods are not new to India and this sub-continent, but in recent years the problem has received much greater attention perhaps largely because it has led to much greater damage than in the past. Even though information on the impending occurrence of floods is now more accurate and certainly more timely, often there is very little time or support infrastructure in place by which damage can be minimized. This is particularly true in the case of flash floods resulting from sudden and excessively heavy rain.

2. In the case of India flooding is very much a function of the seasonal nature of our rainfall. The monsoons are spread over a short period during the year and often bring a concentrated volume of rain, which cannot be absorbed by the earth and finds outlet only in the form of streams that join up with our major river systems. But, flooding is not confined only to the main rivers of the country, often smaller tributaries and streams can cause heavy damage as well. Once these streams spill over their banks they could cause excessive harm, mainly because those living near the banks of these streams particularly in mountain areas do not have easy recourse to moving away quickly.

3. One major factor that could lead to a higher severity of flooding in the future is the danger of climate change. While the evidence of the nature of impacts resulting from climate change on precipitation and flooding at the regional level is not entirely clear, it could happen that the Indian subcontinent witnesses and suffers the effects of a significantly changed pattern of monsoons. One set of scientists has estimated that the monsoons could be shorter in duration, but far more intensive. In other words, much greater precipitation would take place in a much shorter period of time, thereby increasing the danger of floods. Climate change is the result of human actions through the increased concentration of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, of which carbon dioxide is the most prominent.

4. At the local level also human actions have heightened the danger of flood through the cutting of trees in the mountains as well as in the plains. In the case of India, the ecological damage through deforestation of the Himalayas has led to large-scale erosion of the mountain slopes and high levels of siltation. This leads to deposition of silt on the riverbeds in the plains and hence spill over of water whenever the volume in the river reaches a certain level. With siltation on the river beds, flooding occurs even at very shallow water levels. The vulnerability of the population has increased substantially because of population pressures, symbolized, for instance, by the stubborn and perhaps helpless settling of slum dwellers on the banks of the river Yamuna in Delhi, which is merely a trickle most of the year, but bursting its banks during the monsoons as has been the case this year.

5. Flood forecasting is critical to minimizing the damage from floods. It is for this reason that the Central Water Commission has set up a network of forecasting stations, which cover the most important flood prone inter state rivers in the country. These stations produce forecasts that are used to alert the public and to mobilize various official agencies so that they take both preventive as well as relief measures whenever required. However, even in cases where forecasts have been timely and generally accurate, people have often been reluctant to move away, because in most cases they lack the means and physical options for moving away from a danger zone to one that is relatively safe. In the case of flash floods, forecasts are difficult to make, and often the time available for relief is very short

Based on your understanding of the passage, answer the questions given below. (10 x 1 = 10)

(i) The problem of floods has been considered more important recently because…………………..

(a) floods have led to much greater damage now than in the past

(b) floods are resulting in increased relocation

(c) floods occur only during the monsoon season

(d) of problems of frequent tornadoes and cyclones in the subcontinent

Answer: a

(ii) Specify the option that displays what the writer projects with reference to the following statement.

One major factor that could lead to higher severity of flooding in the future is the danger of climate change.

(a) helplessness

(b) speculative

(c) denial

(d) conviction

Answer: b (speculative)


In paragraph 3, the author says that the evidence of the nature of impacts is not entirely clear. Yet, he is making the assumption that climate change can increase the severity of flooding. Hence, he is speculating

(iii) Complete the following with a phrase from paragraph 3:


Some scientists estimate that shorter duration of monsoon season leads to more intensive rainfall.

Reason: ………………………………..

Answer: Due to changing pattern of monsoons, more precipitation can occur in a much shorter period of time. This increases the danger of flooding.

(iv) The writer claims that flood forecasting is critical to minimizing the damage from floods. State one reason for the claim.

Answer: Flood forecasting alerts the public and enables official agencies to take both preventive and relief measures.

(v) Even when the prediction is accurate, people do not evacuate the places where the warning is given.

(a) True

(b) False

Answer: True

(vi) Supply one point to justify the following:

The worst hit people are slum dwellers.


People living in slums on the banks of rivers are the worst hit because while the rivers have hardly any water during most of the year, they flood their banks during the monsoons. This affects slum dwellers who do not have the means and physical options to move to a safer place.

(vii) Based on your reading of the text, list two reasons why the writer says that in spite of timely forecasting people have suffered.


In spite of timely forecasting people have suffered because in most cases they lack the means and physical options for moving away from danger zone to one that is relatively safe.

(viii) The writer says that forecasts are difficult to make and time available is short. Select the reason for it.

(a) Flash floods

(b) Cyclonic rain

(c) Tornadoes

(d) Landslides


Flash floods

(ix) What connect does the writer draw between tributaries and floods?

Tributaries are also a cause of flooding when they overflow their banks. During the rainy season, the earth cannot absorb all the water that falls. The excess water forms streams that often flow down mountains. When these streams overflow people living near their banks suffer.

(x) Which of the following statements is/are false?

The vulnerability of the population has increased substantially because of population pressures symbolised by:

I. People are superstitious

II. Difficult to evacuate flood-affected areas

Select the option:

(a) Only I

(b) Only II

(C) Both I and II

(d) None of the above

Answer: (b) Only II

Manjusha Nambiar

Hi, I am Manjusha. This is my blog where I give English grammar lessons and worksheets.

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