Natural hazards

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Natural hazards

A natural hazard[1] is a natural phenomenon that might have a negative effect on people or the environment. Natural hazard events can be grouped into two broad categories,[2] which are geophysical hazards[3][4] encompass geological and meteorological phenomena such as earthquakes, volcanic eruption, wildfire, cyclonic storms, flood, drought, and coastal erosion. Biological hazards can refer to a diverse array of disease and infestation.

Many geophysical hazards are related;[5] for example, submarine earthquakes can cause tsunamis, and hurricanes can lead to coastal flooding and erosion. Floods and wildfires can result from a combination of geological, hydrological, and climatic factors. It is possible that some natural hazards are intertemporally correlated as well.[5][6] An example of the division between a natural hazard and a natural disaster is that the 1906 San Francisco earthquake was a disaster, whereas living on a fault line is a hazard. Some natural hazards can be provoked or affected by anthropogenic processes (e.g. land-use change, drainage and construction).[7]


  1. Organization of American States, Department of Regional Development; Organization of American States, Natural Hazards Project; United States Agency for International Development, Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance (1990). Disaster, planning and development: managing natural hazards to reduce loss. Washington, D.C.: Organization of American States. Retrieved 21 July 2014.
  2. Burton, I.; Kates, R.W.; White, G.F. (1993). The environment as hazard. Guilford Press. ISBN 9780898621594.
  3. Geography in the News - topical geography resources for teachers and students
  4. Kusky, Timothy M. (2003). Geological Hazards: A Sourcebook. Greenwood Press.
  5. 5.0 5.1 Gill, Joel C.; Malamud, Bruce D. (December 2014). "Reviewing and visualizing the interactions of natural hazards". Reviews of Geophysics 52 (4): 680–722. doi:10.1002/2013RG000445.
  6. Graves, Philip E.; Bresnock, Anne E. (1 January 1985). "Are Natural Hazards Temporally Random?". Applied Geography 5 (1): 5–12. doi:10.1016/0143-6228(85)90002-5. SSRN 1679224.
  7. Gill, Joel C.; Malamud, Bruce D. (2017-03-01). "Anthropogenic processes, natural hazards, and interactions in a multi-hazard framework". Earth-Science Reviews 166: 246–269. doi:10.1016/j.earscirev.2017.01.002.

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