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A disaster is a serious disruption of the functioning of a community or a society involving

widespread human, material, economic or environmental losses and impacts, which exceeds
the ability of the affected community or society to cope using its own resources.
In contemporary academia, disasters are seen as the consequence of inappropriately managed
risk. These risks are the product of a combination of both hazards and vulnerability. !azards
that strike in areas with low vulnerability will never become disasters, as is the case in
uninhabited regions.
%eveloping countries suffer the greatest costs when a disaster hits & more than '( percent of
all deaths caused by hazards occur in developing countries, and losses due to natural hazards
are )* times greater +as a percentage of ,%-. in developing countries than in industrialized
# 0tymology
) 1lassifications
o ).# 2atural !azard
o ).) !uman3Instigated %isasters
/ 4ee also
5 6eferences
( 7urther reading
8 0xternal links
The word disaster is derived from 9iddle 7rench dsastre and that from :ld Italian disastro,
which in turn comes from the ,reek pe;orative prefix <=>3, +dus-. ?bad?
and >@AB + aster.,
The root of the word disaster +?bad star? in ,reek. comes from an astrological sense
of a calamity blamed on the sight of comets and asteroids.
6esearchers have been studying disasters for more than a century, and for more than forty
years disaster research. The studies reflect a common opinion when they argue that all
disasters can be seen as being human3made, their reasoning being that human actions before
the strike of the hazard can prevent it developing into a disaster. All disasters are hence the
result of human failure to introduce appropriate disaster management measures.
!azards are
routinely divided into natural or human3made, although complex disasters, where there is no
single root cause, are more common in developing countries. A specific disaster may spawn a
secondary disaster that increases the impact. A classic example is an earthquake that causes a
tsunami, resulting in coastal flooding.
Natural Hazard[edit]
Main article: Natural Hazard
A 2atural !azard is a natural process or phenomenon that may cause loss of life, in;ury or
other health impacts, property damage, loss of livelihoods and services, social and economic
disruption, or environmental damage.
Darious phenomena like earthquakes, landslides, volcanic eruptions, floods, tornadoes,
blizzards,tsunamis, and cyclones are all natural hazards that kill thousands of people and
destroy billions of dollars of habitat and property each year. !owever, natural hazards can
strike in non3populated areas and never develop into disasters. !owever, the rapid growth of
the worldEs population and its increased concentration often in hazardous environments has
escalated both the frequency and severity of disasters. Fith the tropical climate and unstable
land forms, coupled with deforestation, unplanned growth proliferation, non3engineered
constructions which make the disaster3prone areas more vulnerable, tardy communication,
poor or no budgetary allocation for disaster prevention, developing countries suffer more or
less chronically by natural disasters. Asia tops the list of casualties caused by natural hazards.
Airplane crashes and terrorist attacks are examples of man3made disastersG they cause
pollution, kill people, and damage property. This example is the 4eptember ## attacks in )**#
at the Forld Trade 1enter in 2ew Hork.
Human-Instigated Disasters[edit]
Main article: Man-made disasters
!uman3Instigated disasters are the consequence of technological hazards. 0xamples include
stampedes, fires, transport accidents, industrial accidents, oil spills and nuclear
explosionsradiation. Far and deliberate attacks may also be put in this category. As with
natural hazards, man3made hazards are events that have not happened, for instance terrorism.
9an3made disasters are examples of specific cases where man3made hazards have become
reality in an event.
See also[edit]
Act of ,od
Iist of accidents and disasters by death toll
1ivil protection
%isaster medicine
%isaster convergence
%isaster response
%isaster recovery
%isaster area
%isaster research
%isaster recovery plan
%isaster recovery and business continuity auditing
%isaster opportunism
%isaster 9itigation Act of )***
0mergency management
0nvironmental emergency
!uman extinction
Iist of disasters
Iist of disasters by cost
9aritime disasters
6isk governance
6isks to civilization, humans and planet 0arth
4ociology of disaster
%isaster film
Iist of military disasters
Iist of railway disasters
#. Jump up Kuarantelli 0.I. +#''L.. Fhere Fe !ave Meen and Fhere Fe 9ight ,o. InG
Kuarantelli 0.I. +ed.. Fhat Is A %isasterN IondonG 6outledge. pp#583#('
). Jump up ?Forld MankG%isaster 6isk 9anagement?.
/. Jump up Iuis 7lores Mallesteros. ?FhoOs getting the worst of natural disastersN? (5 -esos
9ay. )*#*G(5 -esos *5 :ct )**L. PhttpG(**L#**5whoQe)QL*Q''s3getting3the3
5. Jump up ?%us, !enry ,eorge Iiddell, 6obert 4cott, ?A ,reek30nglish Iexicon?, at
(. Jump up ?Aster, !enry ,eorge Iiddell, 6obert 4cott, ?A ,reek30nglish Iexicon?, at
8. Jump up httpGetymonline.comNtermSdisaster
C. Jump up M. Fisner, -. Mlaikie, T. 1annon, and I. %avis +)**5.. At 6isk & 2atural hazards,
peopleEs vulnerability and disasters. FiltshireG 6outledge, I4M2 *35#(3)()#835
!urt"er reading[edit]
Marton A.!. +#'8'.. 1ommunities in %isaster. A 4ociological Analysis of 1ollective 4tress
4ituations. 4IG Fard Iock
1atastrophe and 1ultureG The Anthropology of %isaster. 4usanna 9. !offman and Anthony
:liver34mith, 0ds.. 4anta 7e 29G 4chool of American 6esearch -ress, )**)
,. Mankoff, ,. 7rerks, %. !ilhorst +eds.. +)**/.. 9apping DulnerabilityG %isasters,
%evelopment and -eople. I4M2 #3L(/L/3'853C.
%. Alexander +)**).. -rinciples of 0mergency planning and 9anagement. !arpendedG Terra
publishing. I4M2 #3'*/(553#*38.
Kuarantelli, 0. I. +)**L.. T1onventional Meliefs and 1ounterintuitive 6ealitiesU.
1onventional Meliefs and 1ounterintuitive 6ealities in 4ocial 6esearchG an international
Kuarterly of the social 4ciences, Dol. C( +/.G LC/&'*5.
-aul, M. J et al. +)**/.. T-ublic 6esponse to Tornado FarningsG a comparative 4tudy of the
9ay *5, )**/ Tornadoes in Jansas, 9issouri and TennesseeU. Kuick 6esponse 6esearch
6eport, no #8(, 2atural !azard 1enter, Vniversidad of 1olorado
Jahneman, %. y Tversky, A. +#'L5.. T1hoices, Dalues and framesU. American -sychologist
/' +5.G /5#&/(*.
Meck, V. +)**8.. 6isk 4ociety, towards a new modernity. Muenos Aires, -aidos
Aguirre, M. 0 W Kuarantelli, 0. !. +)**L.. T-henomenology of %eath 1ounts in %isastersG the
invisible dead in the '## FT1 attackU. International Xournal of 9ass 0mergencies and
%isasters. Dol. )8 +#.G #'&/'.
Filson, !. +)*#*.. T%ivine 4overeignty and The ,lobal 1limate 1hange debateU. 0ssays in
-hilosophy. Dol. ## +#.G #&C
Vscher3-ines, I. +)**'.. T!ealth effects of 6elocation following disastersG a systematic
review of literatureU. %isasters. Dol. // +#.G #&)).
!irshleifer, Xack +)**L.. ?%isaster and 6ecovery?. In %avid 6. !enderson +ed... Concise
Encyclopedia of Economics +)nd ed... IndianapolisG Iibrary of 0conomics and Iiberty.
I4M2 'CL3*L8('C88(L. :1I1 )/CC'5)8C.
4cheper3!ughes, 2. +)**(.. TJatrinaG the disaster and its doublesU. Anthropology Today. Dol.
)# +8..
-hillips, M. %. +)**(.. T%isaster as a %isciplineG The 4tatus of 0mergency 9anagement
0ducation in the V4U. International Xournal of 9ass30mergencies and %isasters. Dol. )/ +#.G
9ileti, %. and 7itzpatrick, 1. +#'').. TThe causal sequence of 6isk communication in the
-arkfield 0arthquake -rediction experimentU. 6isk Analysis. Dol. #)G /'/&5**.
Jorstan;e, 9. +)*##.. ?The 4cientific 4ensationalismG short commentaries along with
scientific risk perception?. 0 Xournalist. Dolume #*, Issue ).
Jorstan;e, 9. +)*##.. ?4wine 7lu, beyond the principle of 6eisilience?. International Xournal
of %isaster 6esilience in the Muilt 0nvironment, Dol. ) IssG #, pp. ('&C/
E#ternal lin$s[edit]
The Fikibook History has a page on the topic ofG Historical Disasters and
7ind more about Disaster at FikipediaEs sister pro;ects
%efinitions and translations from Fiktionary
9edia from 1ommons
Kuotations from Fikiquote
4ource texts from Fikisource
Textbooks from Fikibooks
Iearning resources from Fikiversity
The %isaster 6oundtable Information on past and future %isaster 6oundtable
093%AT The 093%AT International %isaster %atabase
64:0 0%I4 0mergency and %isaster Information 4ervice An up3to3the3minute world
wide map showing current disasters.
Articles :n 7ood 4hortage & 7ood 4hortage Information.
,lobal %isaster Alert and 1oordination 4ystem A Vnited 2ations and 0uropean
1ommission sponsored website for disaster information.
Vnited 2ations -rogramme for 4pace3based Information for %isaster 9anagement
and 0mergency 6esponse Vnited 2ations programme covering the full disaster
management cycle with usage of space technology
Top #** aviation disasters on
%isaster Dideo Archive Archive 7ootage of 9a;or %isasters
,uinness Mook of Forld 6ecords
The worldEs worst massacres Fhole 0arth 6eview
Far %isaster and ,enocide
%isaster Dideo %isaster 2ews and Dideo
%isaster Alert 2otification and 6eporting
64:0 0%I4 +0mergency %isaster and Information 4ervice.G world map showing
current disasters
The %isaster 2ews 2etwork & Iive 9onitors and Vpdates about %isasters
The 1alamity of %isaster & 6ecognizing the possibilities, planning for the event,
managing crisis and coping with the effects.
1orporate %isaster 6esource 2etwork, India & 2eeds and :ffers matched online.
"#$3 Vnited 2ations International 4trategy for %isaster 6eduction, Terminologies
+%66. for %66, )**'