Natural disasters

Natural disasters are naturally occurring events, or extreme forces of nature, that cause injury, death of people, displacement of local communities, property, parts of society and even entire civilisations. Some natural events can be precipitated by human activities or behaviours, making them less natural. 

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.


270px-Venice_ast_sm.jpg

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.
  • environmental disasters


Current extreme weather events can be considered non-natural because humans have had a direct effect on the atmosphere through increased carbon dioxide which can lead to unnatural variations in weather events like cyclones, hurricanes, forest/bushfires etc


Handy resource called ThinkHazard.Org about Natural Hazards World Wide