Disasters or natural disasters constitute extreme and highly unpredictable events that occur on our planet. Natural disasters cause, year after year, when they occur, thousands of loss of human and animal life, serious damage to ecosystems in general and serious economic costs or losses in material goods.
In this Green Ecologist article we tell you what are the different types of natural disasters that exist, how they are classified and what they are, commenting not only on their names but also on some data collected throughout history.
Natural disasters are caused by phenomena that occur in nature. Although there are increasingly more reliable data to predict them, based on climatic disturbances or environmental changes, the truth is that it is difficult to predict them accurately, which depends, to a large extent, on the type of disaster.
In turn, all different types of natural disasters that exist can be classified into four major categories:
In this category are grouped natural disasters that originate in water, both in the sea and in the ocean. Thus, they occur by action of the sea or ocean. Some examples are:
For example, the tsunamis They occur when giant waves generated in the seas hit hard against the coast of a region, sometimes flooding many kilometers into the interior of the continent. Its origin may be from underwater seismic activity, underwater volcanic activity, nuclear weapons, or any other underwater disturbance. The worst tsunami in terms of loss of human life was the one registered in the Indian Ocean in 2014, which caused the loss of 280,000 human lives. If you want to know more about tsunamis, do not hesitate to read this article on How tsunamis form.
In case of the floods, are due to the overflow of water courses, which can be coastal or fluvial. In the case of fluvial rivers, the overflow is also produced by atmospheric rains. They can also be due to dam or levee failures. The worst floods in number of human deaths were those of Rio Yantze in 1931, which caused the death of more than 3.7 million people in China.
They are due to climatic factors. They are, perhaps, the most predictable natural disasters, due to the increasingly advanced technologies that allow us to analyze weather patterns and predict their consequences. Some examples are the following:
The hurricanesFor example, they are giant columns of air in contact with the ground that rotate strongly. They are the result of the combination of columns of hot and humid, cold and dry air and high-speed winds from the Northwest. The worst recorded in the number of human deaths was the one that occurred in 1925 in three US states, with more than 645 deaths.
Another example is extreme temperatures, due to intense waves of cold or heat that affect certain areas of the planet for a more or less certain time. Their origin may be in current climate change or in air pollution and they can cause the loss of many human lives, due to the fact that they subject the human body to extreme temperature values. The worst heat wave took place in Europe in 2003 and data was collected indicating that it caused the death of around 70,000 people.
Are those disasters that have their origin in the terrestrial part of the planet, either in the Earth's interior or on its surface. Examples of these catastrophes are the following:
For example, an avalanche it is the fall of great masses of snow, ice and debris down the slopes of a mountain, dragging what it finds in its path. They have their origin in overloads, temperatures, inclination of the slopes or vibrations. The worst recorded in number of deaths was in Peru during 1970 and was caused by an earthquake, causing up to 20,000 victims.
Are those disasters caused by the life that inhabits our planet. In this category, the following disasters or natural catastrophes can be grouped:
However, this category of disasters is more diffuse, since many times the human being aggravates or causes the development of disasters with the overexploitation of resources or environmental and atmospheric pollution.
For example, one of the worst biological disasters in history was the black plague pandemic, bubonic plague or black death that attacked Europe during the fourteenth century, causing the death of about 100 million people around the planet. The pathogen that caused this disease came from fleas and was transmitted by rats.
Another example are red tides, which are tides produced in a certain area of the sea, caused by the excessive proliferation of reddish microalgae and which affects many marine organisms, causing their loss, in addition to having economic costs.
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