What is a disaster?

A disaster is a sudden, calamitous event that seriously disrupts the functioning of a community or society and causes human, material, and economic or environmental losses that exceed the community’s or society’s ability to cope using its own resources. Though often caused by nature, disasters can have human origins.




A disaster occurs when a hazard impacts on vulnerable people.

The combination of hazards, vulnerability and inability to reduce the potential negative consequences of risk results in disaster.

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