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Natural hazards

Natural process which could cause the death injury or disruption to humans or destroy property and possessions


Natural disaster

A natural hazard that has actually happened


Main types of natural hazard

Geological hazards

Meteorological hazards


Geological hazards

Hazards that are caused by land and tectonic plates these include volcanoes and earthquakes landslides and avalanches


Meteorological hazards

Hazards that are caused by weather and climate examples include tropical storms and other extreme weather such as heat waves and cold spells.


Hazard risk

What is the probability of people being affected by a hazard in a particular area.


Factors affecting hazard risk

The more people that are in an area exposed to natural hazard the greater the probability they will be affected by a natural hazard.
For example an area with a high population density on a floodplain is very vulnerable to flooding caused by extreme weather.

Capacity to cope:
The better the population can cope with an extreme event the lower the risk of them being severely affected.
For example higher income countries are better able to cope with the flooding because they can afford to build defences and evacuate people.


Nature of natural hazards




The risk from some hazards is greater than others.

For example tropical storm can be predicted and monitored giving people time to evacuate the earthquake happened very suddenly with no warning so it’s much harder to protect people



Natural hazards that occur more often may carry a higher risk.



What are their natural hazard tend to have the greatest effect.

For example a magnitude 9.0 earthquake that struck Japan in 2011 killed over 15,000 people whereas 6.3 magnitude earthquake in L’Aquila,Italy, in 2009 killed around 300 people.


Primary affects of natural disasters

(Immediate impacts caused by the hazard itself)

*Building and words are destroyed by a quick volcanic eruptions or tropical storms.

* People are injured or killed e.g when buildings collapse.

*Crops and water supplies can be damaged or contaminated.

*Electricity cables gas pipe and communication network can be damaged, cutting off supplies.


Secondary effects of natural disasters

(Later often as a result of the primary effects)

The initial hazard can trigger other hazards e.g. a earthquake can trigger Tsunami

Aid and emergency vehicles can’t get through because of blocked roads or bridges-this can cause more deaths.

Shortage of clean water and a lack of proper sanitation make it easier for disease to spread.

Food shortages can occur if crops are damaged livestock are killed or supply lines are blocked


Immediate responses of natural disaster

Evacuate people (before the hazard occurs if possible)

Treat the injured and rescue anyone cut off by damage to roads or bridges.

Recover dead bodies to prevent disease spreading.

Provide temporary supply of electricity and gas if regular supplies have been damaged.

Provide food drink and shelter to people without homes.

Foreign governments or charities may send a id workers,supplies or financial donations.


Long term responses

Repair homes or rehouse people who have lost their homes.

Repair or rebuild building roads railways and bridges.

Reconnect broken electricity water gas and communication connections

Improve forecasting monitoring and evacuation plans.

improve building regulations so that building can withstand dl similar hazards in the future.

Boost economic recovery e.g. by promoting tourism