Natural disaster


October 28, 2021

Natural disaster is a term that refers to the enormous losses of materials and human lives caused by natural events or phenomena, such as earthquakes, floods, tsunamis, landslides, among others. [1] According to the (UNOFDRR), disasters are not natural, but are the result of omissions and lack of prevention, and disasters occur due to the action of man in their environment. For example: a hurricane in the middle of the ocean is not a disaster, unless a ship passes by. [Note 1] Natural phenomena (such as rain, earthquakes, hurricanes and tsunamis among others) become disasters when they exceed a normal limit, generally measured through a parameter. This varies depending on the type of phenomenon, and can be the Magnitude of the Seismic Moment (Mw), the Richter scale, the Saffir-Simpson scale for hurricanes, etc. The effects of a disaster can be amplified as poor planning of human settlements, lack of security measures, emergency plans and man-made warning systems becomes a bit diffuse. On the other hand, some disasters are caused solely by human activities. Some of these are: environmental pollution, irrational exploitation of renewable natural resources such as forests and non-renewable soil such as minerals; also, the construction of houses and buildings in high-risk areas. Human activity in areas with a high probability of disasters is known as high risk. High risk areas without instrumentation or appropriate measures to respond to the disaster or reduce its negative effects are known as high vulnerability areas. In order for the institutional capacity to reduce the collective risk of disasters, these can trigger other events that will reduce the possibility of surviving this due to deficiencies in planning and in security measures, also create an emergency plan.

Types of natural disasters

Mass movements


An avalanche or avalanche is a sudden slide of material, a mixture of ice, rock, soil and vegetation downhill. Avalanches can be stone or dusty. Avalanches are the greatest danger during winter in the mountains, they can travel for miles, and cause the total destruction of the slope with everything in its path.


A landslide, also known as a landslide, is a disaster closely related to avalanches, but instead of dragging snow, they carry dirt, rocks, trees, fragments of houses, etc. Landslides can be caused by earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, or instability in the surrounding area. Mud or mud slides, also known as alluviums, are a special type of landslides whose cause is the water that penetrates the ground due to heavy rains, modifying the terrain and causing the landslide. This happens with some regularity in California during the rainy periods. Landslides happen after earthquakes, tsunamis, or long-lasting rains. On October 9, 1963, there was a gigantic landslide of some 260 million cubic meters of forest, earth and rock, which fell into the Vajont Dam at about 110 km per hour. The resulting displaced water caused 50 million cubic meters of water to surge past the dam in a 90-meter high wave. The megatsunami resulting from the landslide totally destroyed the town of Longarone and the small towns of Pirago, Rivalta, Villanova and Faè, killing about 1,450 people. Several small towns in the Erto and Casso territory and the town of Codissago, near Castellavazzo, suffered significant damage. About 2,000 people died. [2]

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