Types of disasters: Definition of hazard


Threatening event, or probability of occurrence of a potentially damaging phenomenon within a given time period and area.

(Source: EM-DAT).

Natural hazards are naturally occurring physical phenomena caused either by rapid or slow onset events which can be geophysical (earthquakes, landslides, tsunamis and volcanic activity), hydrological (avalanches and floods), climatological (extreme temperatures, drought and wildfires), meteorological (cyclones and storms/wave surges) or biological (disease epidemics and insect/animal plagues).

Technological or man-made hazards (complex emergencies/conflicts, famine, displaced populations, industrial accidents and transport accidents) are events that are caused by humans and occur in or close to human settlements. This can include environmental degradation, pollution and accidents.Technological or man-made hazards (complex emergencies/conflicts, famine, displaced populations, industrial accidents and transport accidents)

There are a range of challenges, such as climate change, unplanned-urbanization, under-development/poverty as well as the threat of pandemics, that will shape humanitarian assistance in the future. These aggravating factors will result in increased frequency, complexity and severity of disasters.

 

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