Introduction: All Natural Disasters

A significant event caused due to Earth's natural processes that result in massive environmental degradation and loss of life and property is called a natural disaster. Some examples of natural disasters include firestorms, dust storms, floods, hurricanes, tornadoes, volcanic eruptions, earthquakes, tsunamis, storms, and other geologic processes. The planet has experienced countless natural disasters in its 4.54 billion-year history. Several mass extinction events have occurred, with catastrophic repercussions for various surviving species.

What is a Natural Disaster?

  • A natural disaster is an event that occurs unexpectedly and causes harm to society.

  • Many natural catastrophes do harm to the environment and the people who live in it.

  • Examples of Natural disasters: Earthquakes, cyclones, floods, tsunamis, landslides, volcanic eruptions, and avalanches.

  • The disaster's spatial extent is a measure of its magnitude or severity.

  • Disasters are severe disturbances to a community's functioning that surpass the community's ability to cope using its own resources.

  • Natural, man-made, and technical risks, as well as various elements that influence a community's exposure and vulnerability, can all contribute to disasters.

  • Anthropogenic factors, on the other hand, can contribute to some natural hazards.

  • Landslides can be caused by a variety of factors, including deforestation, mining, and agricultural activities.

  • Natural disasters frequently cause widespread destruction. Wildfires, for example, ruin animal habitats while also causing property damage and human deaths.

Types of Natural Disaster

There are four broad types of natural disasters:


Type of Natural Disaster

Explanation

Geological Disasters

  • Threats generated by geological (i.e., Earth) processes such as deforestation.

  • Examples include earthquakes and volcanic eruptions.

  • They are beyond human control, humans do have a substantial impact on the events' outcomes.

Hydrological Disasters

  • A change in the quality, distribution, or flow of water under the surface or in the atmosphere causes a quick and violent occurrence of a disaster.

  • A tsunami, for example, is a massive column of water or waves created by a large volume of water being displaced.

  • Undersea earthquakes or volcanic eruptions are the most common causes of hydrological disasters.

Meteorological Disasters

  • Meteorological hazards are those that are caused by meteorological (i.e., weather) occurrences, particularly those that are related to temperature and wind.

  • This includes heat waves, cold waves, cyclones, hurricanes, and freezing rain.

Biological Disasters

  • Biological threats are those that result from biological processes.

  • This includes a wide range of diseases, such as infectious diseases that spread from person to person and constitute a serious threat to large populations.

  • Examples: Covid-19, SARS, AIDS, Tuberculosis.

Natural Disasters Based on Changes in the Structure of Earth:


Layers of the Earth


Image: Layers of the Earth

  • If the Changes Occur in the Interiors of the Earth: Earthquake, Tsunamis and Volcano will cause the disaster.

  • If the Changes are On the Surface of the Earth: Flood, Cyclones and Drought will cause disaster.

Causes of Natural Disaster

  1. Natural: The main causes of natural disasters are natural phenomena occurring in the earth's crust as well as on the surface. Examples: Earthquake, Tsunamis, Flood etc.

  2. Man-made: In contrast to natural disasters caused by natural risks, man-made disasters involve human intent, neglect, or error involving a failure of a man-made system. Crime, terrorism, war, biological/chemical threats, and cyber-attacks are examples of man-made disasters.

Effects of Natural Disaster

  • Natural calamities include short-term consequences, such as loss of life and property destruction, as well as long-term consequences, such as harming a region's or country's economic stability.

  • Infrastructure and energy production hubs that are damaged have a negative impact on a country's economic development.

  • They result in property destruction, financial loss, and personal injury or disease.

  • In less-developed countries, the loss of resources, security, and access to shelter can result in enormous population migrations.

Conclusion

This article gives insight into natural disasters, their causes, and their effects. Earthquakes, floods, landslides, and other natural disasters can be identified from natural disaster charts use at various levels of documentation. When combined with economic, environmental, and social elements, however, the destruction is magnified or lessened. Since these disasters can have a great negative impact on the environment, we have to take preventive measures to lessen their impact.

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FAQs on Natural Disasters

1. How can we prevent and control these natural calamities?

To prevent these disasters, the best we can do is to put an end to practices that are harmful to our environment and lead to environmental deterioration, while simultaneously ensuring that we are prepared for a disaster through our disaster management plan. Prior to an epidemic outbreak, it is also necessary to properly dispose of dead animals and human bodies. Pollution should be avoided in our surroundings. We should stop destroying the environment by burning plastics or by chopping down trees. The after-effects of disasters are the primary risk factors for increased transmission of infectious diseases.

2. Can you list some major disasters that have occurred in India?

Disasters that have occurred in India are:

  • Kerala Flood (2018): In the first 48 hours, Kerala experienced 310mm of heavy rain. Dams began to overflow as a result of this.

  • Kashmir Flood (2013): In Kashmir, heavy rains and the expansion of the Jhelum river resulted in a severe flood. It generated a monetary loss of 6000 crores.

  • Uttarakhand Flood (2013): From the 14th to the 17th of June, a massive cloudburst in Uttarakhand produced landslides and flash floods. In the Kedarnath temple, over 1 lakh pilgrims were struck by lightning.

  • Tsunami (2004): This calamity was caused by an earthquake with a magnitude of 9.1 to 9.3. The tsunami wreaked havoc on people's lives. The majority of Indian homes, as well as those in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands and Sri Lanka, were affected.

  • Gujarat Earthquake (2001): The magnitude of the earthquake was 7.6 on the Richter scale. It wreaked havoc on over 4 lakh homes. This earthquake was 120 seconds long.

3. What are things to avoid during Natural Disasters?

Things to be avoided during Natural disasters are

  • Do not approach live wires or trash.

  • Do not seek refuge beneath a fragile structure.

  • Avoid standing in the shade of the trees.

  • During cyclones and floods, stay away from river and sea areas.

  • During a crisis, avoid using gas stoves or electronic devices.

Take these precautions to protect yourself from the devastating effects of natural disasters. A disaster, on the other hand, causes property or livestock loss. Hence, it is recommended that one must have some insurance policy to manage the loss.


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