A natural disaster is the effect of a natural hazard (e.g., flood, tornado, hurricane, volcanic eruption, earthquake, heatwave, or landslide). It leads to financial, environmental or human losses. The resulting loss depends on the vulnerability of the affected population to resist the hazard, also called their resilience. if these disasters continues it would be a great danger for the earth. This understanding is concentrated in the formulation: “disasters occur when hazards meet vulnerability.” Thus a natural hazard will not result in a natural disaster in areas without vulnerability, e.g. strong earthquakes in uninhabited areas. The term natural has consequently been disputed because the events simply are not hazards or disasters without human involvement. A concrete example of the division between a natural hazard and a natural disaster is that the 1906 San Francisco earthquake was a disaster, whereas earthquakes are a hazard. This article gives an introduction to notable natural disasters, refer to the list of natural disasters for a comprehensive listing. An earthquake is the result of a sudden release of energy in the Earth’s crust that creates seismic waves. At the Earth’s surface, earthquakes manifest themselves by vibration, shaking and sometimes displacement of the ground.
The vibrations may vary in magnitude. Earthquakes are caused mostly by slippage within geological faults, but also by other events such as volcanic activity, landslides, mine blasts, and nuclear tests. The underground point of origin of the earthquake is called the focus. The point directly above the focus on the surface is called the epicenter. Earthquakes by themselves rarely kill people or wildlife. It is usually the secondary events that they trigger, such as building collapse, fires, tsunamis (seismic sea waves) and volcanoes, that are actually the human disaster. Many of these could possibly be avoided by better construction, safety systems, early warning and evacuation planning. Some of the most significant earthquakes in recent times include:
* The 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake, the third largest earthquake in recorded history, registering a moment magnitude of 9.1-9.3. The huge tsunamis triggered by this earthquake cost the lives of at least 229,000 people. * The 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami registered a moment magnitude of 9.0. The death toll from the earthquake and tsunami is over 13,000, and over 12,000 people are still missing. * The 8.8 magnitude February 27, 2010 Chile earthquake and tsunami cost 525 lives. The 7.9 magnitude May 12, 2008 Sichuan earthquake in Sichuan Province, China. Death toll at over See also: Types of volcanic eruptions
Artist’s impression of the volcanic eruptions that formed the Deccan Traps in India. Volcanoes can cause widespread destruction and consequent disaster through several ways. The effects include the volcanic eruption itself that may cause harm following the explosion of the volcano or the fall of rock. Second, lava may be produced during the eruption of a volcano. As it leaves the volcano, the lava destroys many buildings and plants it encounters. Third, volcanic ash generally meaning the cooled ash – may form a cloud, and settle thickly in nearby locations. When mixed with water this forms a concrete-like material. In sufficient quantity ash may cause roofs to collapse under its weight but even small quantities will harm humans if inhaled. Since the ash has the consistency of ground glass it causes abrasion damage to moving parts such as engines.
The main killer of humans in the immediate surroundings of a volcanic eruption is the pyroclastic flows, which consist of a cloud of hot volcanic ash which builds up in the air above the volcano and rushes down the slopes when the eruption no longer supports the lifting of the gases. It is believed that Pompeii was destroyed by a pyroclastic flow. A lahar is a volcanic mudflow or landslide. The 1953 Tangiwai disaster was caused by a lahar, as was the 1985 Armero tragedy in which the town of Armero was buried and an estimated 23,000 people were killed. A specific type of volcano is the supervolcano. According to the Toba catastrophe theory 70 to 75 thousand years ago a super volcanic event at Lake Tobareduced the human population to 10,000 or even 1,000 breeding pairs creating a bottleneck in human evolution. It also killed three quarters of all plant life in the northern hemisphere. The main danger from a supervolcano is the immense cloud of ash which has a disastrous global effect on climate and temperature for many years. * 61,150 as of May 27, 2008.
* The 7.7 magnitude July 2006 Java earthquake, which also triggered tsunamis. * The 7.6-7.7 magnitude 2005 Kashmir earthquake, which cost 79,000 lives in Pakistan. Drought occurs when rainfall is insufficient to maintain river flow and ground-water levels fall to such an extent that water becomes unavailable or almost unavailable to support life. The formal definition of drought varies from area to area. Well-known historical droughts include:
* 1900 India killing between 250,000 and 3.25 million.
* 1921-22 Soviet Union in which over 5 million perished from starvation due to drought * 1928-30 northwest China resulting in over 3 million deaths by famine. * 1936 and 1941 Sichuan Province China resulting in 5 million and 2.5 million deaths respectively. * As of 2006, states of Australia including South Australia, Western Australia, New South Wales, Northern Territory and Queensland had been under drought conditions for five to ten years. The drought is beginning to affect urban area populations for the first time. With the majority of the country under water restrictions. * In 2006, Sichuan Province China experienced its worst drought in modern times with nearly 8 million people and over 7 million cattle facing water shortages. * 12-year drought that was devastating southwest Western Australia, southeast South Australia, Victoria and northern Tasmania was “very severe and without historical precedent”. Hailstorms
A flood is an overflow of an expanse of water that submerges land. The EU Floods directive defines a flood as a temporary covering by water of land not normally covered by water. In the sense of “flowing water”, the word may also be applied to the inflow of the tide. Flooding may result from the volume of water within a body of water, such as a river or lake, which overflows or breaks levees, with the result that some of the water escapes its usual boundaries. While the size of a lake or other body of water will vary with seasonal changes in precipitation and snow melt, it is not a significant flood unless such escapes of water endanger land areas used by man like a village, city or other inhabited area. let us take an example the thane storm which attacked tamil nadu. Main article: List of floods
See also: Flood
The Limpopo River, in southernMozambique, during the 2000 Mozambique flood Some of the most notable floods include:
* The Huang He (Yellow River) in China floods particularly often. The Great Flood of 1931 caused between 800,000 and 4,000,000 deaths. * The Great Flood of 1993 was one of the most costly floods in United States history. * The 1998 Yangtze River Floods, in China, left 14 million people homeless. * The 2000 Mozambique flood covered much of the country for three weeks, resulting in thousands of deaths, and leaving the country devastated for years afterward.