9 Types of Natural Disasters

Natural disasters are popularly spoken of when a natural phenomenon causes serious or irreparable damageleaving heavy losses in its wake.

Although there are those who say that “natural disasters” do not exist per se, but rather disastrous consequences of a natural phenomenon, in the common use of language this difference is not established.

Thus, when speaking of a natural disaster, the following types of phenomena are usually referred to:

earthquakes or earthquakes

natural disasters

Earthquakes or earthquakes are geological phenomena that consist of the sudden movement of the telluric layers of the Earth due to a fracture or slide. The clash between the tectonic plates produces seismic waves that expand through the interior of the earth and only normalize when they manage to release all the energy of the movement and recover mechanical balance.

See also Earthquake or Earthquake.

Volcanic eruptions

natural disasters

Volcanic eruptions are geological phenomena that consist of the violent emission of material that comes from the interior of the Earth, transformed into lava and gases, as a consequence of the increase in the temperature of the magma.

tidal waves and tsunami

natural disasters

A tidal wave is a seismic movement whose epicenter is located at the bottom of the ocean, which causes the sudden movement of the aquatic mass. This seismic movement can be produced both by the collision of tectonic plates and by a volcanic eruption.

tsunami It is a word of Japanese origin that refers specifically to the phenomenon of expansion of a wave of gigantic proportions towards the shore, and is always the result of a tidal wave.

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Therefore, all tsunami are tidal waves, but not all tidal waves produce a tsunami. Tsunamis qualify as geological phenomena.

See also: Tsunami.

Slides (mass movements)

natural disasters

In this category, mass landslides of materials, such as snow, ice, rocks, earth or vegetation that roll down a slope in an uncontrolled manner can be recognized, destroying everything in their path.

The following can be mentioned:

  • avalanches or landslidesthat is, snow or ice slides, together with other materials that drag;
  • landslides which often result from tremors, volcanic eruptions, or ground instability.
  • mudslides or mudslides or mud, resulting from the action of water penetrating the ground.

See also Avalanche.


natural disasters

Flooding is a natural phenomenon that consists of the occupation of space by water that has been diverted from its natural course due to its disproportionate accumulation. It can be the result of heavy rains, abrupt melting of ice, the action of hurricanes and typhoons, tidal surges, or earthquakes and tsunamis.

See also Floods.

Atmospheric phenomena

natural disasters

It refers to all the phenomena produced by the change of atmospheric conditions. However, not all of them qualify as “natural disasters”. In this category we can mention the following:

  • the Hurricanes;
  • The hurricanes;
  • electrical storms;
  • the waterspouts or sleeves of water;
  • hail storms causing serious damage to crops;
  • droughts, which can cause famines;
  • heat waves;
  • the blizzards;
  • sand storms;
  • the simun or “poisonous winds” of the Sahara.

Forest fires

natural disasters

Forest fire is the name given to the fire that spreads through wooded areas, and that wreaks havoc on the flora and fauna of the affected perimeter.

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This type of fire is usually difficult to control, due to the highly flammable nature of the materials, the force of the winds (which expand it faster or make it change direction unexpectedly) and the inaccessibility of the locations.

See also Fire.

biological disasters

natural disasters

It refers to epidemics or pandemics that spread uncontrollably due to the spread of an infectious agent. As an example, we can mention the Black Death in medieval Europe.

See also Epidemic.

space phenomena

natural disasters

They are those natural phenomena that occur in space orbit and that have an effect on planet Earth, directly or indirectly. In this category qualify:

  • the impacts of cosmic originpopularly called meteoriteswhich, according to their size, can cause significant damage when hitting the ground;
  • the solar stormswhich affect satellites, space missions and communication networks.