chapter  21
26 Pages

Natural Hazards

Natural hazards such as earthquakes, floods, tropical cyclones and disease epidemics are normal functions of the natural environment. They do, therefore, affect all living organisms but they are usually only referred to as disasters or catastrophes when they impact human society to cause social disruption, material damage and loss of life. As such, natural hazards should be defined and studied both in terms of the physical processes involved and the human factors affecting the vulnerability of certain groups of people to disasters.