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Tuesday, June 06, 2006

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Natural Disasters and Hazards

A natural disaster is the consequence of the combination of a natural hazard (a physical event e.g. volcanic eruption, earthquake, landslide) and human activities. Human vulnerability, caused by the lack of appropriate emergency management, leads to financial, structural, and human losses. The resulting loss depend on the capacity of the population to support or resist the disaster, their resilience. This understanding is concentrated in the formulation: "disasters occur when hazards meet vulnerability". A natural hazard will hence never 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 Natural Hazard is an event that has an effect on people resulting from the natural processes in the environment.


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