Natural disasters

Natural disasters are naturally occurring events, or extreme forces of nature, that cause injury, death of people, local communities, property, parts of society and even entire civilisations. 

natura disasters

A collage image of typical natural disasters including fires, floods, volcanoes, storms, cyclones 

Here are a few common aka natural hazards:

The scale of natural disasters can vary from affecting only a few people to entire countries or regions and sometimes a global scale.


The word 'Disaster' contains  '-aster' which means 'of the stars' and 'dis' meaning negative or apart. So a disaster is a 'bad star' because great catastrophies in ancient times were often thought to be link with the position of the stars. image: wikipedia

Sometimes the topic of natural disasters is called 'Natural Hazards', to highlight that nature can be hazardous.

Some less common ones (depending on location and climate) might include:

  • Avalanches
  • Rock slides
  • Snow or ice storms (Blizzards)
  • Lightning strikes
  • Sinkholes

Rare extra terrestrial (originating away from earth) origins:

Outbreaks of disease may also be considered natural sometimes. For example some wild animals may carry diseases, such as bacteria, viruses or parasites that could infect a population.

Wild animal attacks could also be considered a type of natural disaster but on a more smaller personal scale. Examples might include:

  • stampede of elephants or 
  • shark attacks on people
  • pirhana attacks 

 Though these usually are more opportunistic or reflexes. 

Essentially any extreme form of nature could be considered a natural disaster. There are other kinds of disasters such as:

  • social disasters, such as wars, 
  • engineering disasters or
  • technological related disasters.

Handy resource called ThinkHazard.Org about Natural Hazards World Wide