Natural Disasters

This data set lists key facts about 15 major natural disasters, including their definitions, types, locations, causes, effects, and more.
a data set by WorldExplorer
created February 12, 2017
Natural DisasterOther NamePictureDefinitionTypesLocationCauseEffectExample
AvalancheSnowslide; SnowslipIt is a rapid flow of snow down a sloping surface.Slab; Wet; PowderMountainous areas throughout arctic and temperate regions which have slope angles between 25 degrees and 60 degreesOverloading; Warm temperature; Steep slopes; Layers of snow; Vibration Flash floods; Human impacts; Local economic impacts (such as closing of ski resorts and other business)Cascade Range, Washington (1910); Montroc, France (1999)
BlizzardIt is a severe snowstorm characterized by strong winds causing blowing snow that results in low visibilities.Snowstorm; Ground; Lake-EffectAnywhere with the perfect conditions for snow formation or strong winds Collision of warm rising air with very cold airImpacts on transport routes, crops and people; Vehicle accidents; Hypothermia; Infections from frostbite; Possible fires and carbon monoxide poisoning due to the use of alternate heat sourcesIran (1972); Canada, United States, and Cuba (1993)
DroughtIt is a period of unexpected rainfall deficit which results in a shortage of water.Meteorological; Agricultural; HydrologicalAnywherePrecipitation deficiency; Dry season; El Niño; Erosion and human activities; Climate changeDust bowls; Dust storms; Lack of adequate drinking water; Loss of vegetation; Loss of farmland; Loss of livestock and life due to famine or dehydration; Mass migration; Wildfires; Cyanotoxin accumulation within food chains and water supplyEthiopia and Sudan (1984); Amazon Basin (2005)
EarthquakeQuake; Tremor; TemblorIt is the shaking of the surface of the Earth, resulting from the sudden release of energy in the Earth's lithosphere that creates seismic waves.Tectonic; Volcanic; Collapse; ExplosionAnywhere, but most frequently in the Pacific Ring of FireFault movement; Volcanism; Induced seismicityShaking and ground rupture; Landslides and avalanches; Fires; Soil liquefaction; Tsunami; Floods; Human impactsTangshan, China (1976); Haiti (2010)
FloodIt is an overflow of water that submerges land which is usually dry.Areal; Riverine (Channel); Estuarine and coastal; UrbanRiver floodplains and coastal areas; Areas with unusually long periods of heavy rainfallFlash floods; Storm surge; Dam and levee failures Loss of life; Damage to buildings and other structures; Waterborne diseases; Loss of harvests; Loss of tree species; Benefits (recharging ground water, making soil more fertile, and maintaining ecosystems in river corridors)Bangladesh (1998); New Orleans, USA (2005)
HailHailstormIt occurs when rain drops arrive as ice, rather than melting before they hit the ground.Graupel; Sleet; SnowMost common within continental interiors of the mid-latitudes or along mountain rangesStrong thunderstorm updrafts carrying water droplets well above the freezing levelDamage to automobiles, aircraft, skylights, glass-roofed structures, livestock, and crops Munich, Germany (1984); St. Louis, Missouri (2012)
Heat WaveIt is a period of abnormally and uncomfortably hot and usually humid weather.AnywhereHigh pressure aloft strengthens and remains over a region for several days up to several weeksCatastrophic crop failures; Deaths from hyperthermia; Wildfires; Power outagesWestern Europe (2003); Victoria, Australia (2009)
LandslideLandslipIt is a downward movement of rock and soil debris that has become detached from the underlying slope.Debris flow; Earth flow; Debris; Sturzstrom; Shallow; Deep-seatedSeismic sensitive areas; Mountainous areas with high relief; Moderate relief areas with land degradation; Areas of thick loess; Areas of high rainfallSaturation of slope material (rainfall); Seismic activity (earthquakes and volcanoes); Undercutting of cliffs and banks by waves and rivers; Removal of vegetation; Modification of slopesTsunami; Impacts on a variety of resources such as water supplies, fisheries, sewage disposal systems, forests, dams, and roadways; Human impactsNevados Huascaran, Andes (1962); Nepal (2002)
Limnic EruptionLake OverturnIt occurs when dissolved carbon dioxide suddenly erupts from deep lake waters, forming a gas cloud that can suffocate wildlife, livestock and humans.Limnically active lakes with the following features: CO2-saturated incoming water; A cool lake bottom; An upper and lower thermal layer with differing CO2 saturations; Proximity to areas with volcanic activityA lake nearly saturated with gas; A trigger (such as earthquakes, volcanic activities, and explosions)Suffocation of life forms; Frostbite; Tsunami Lake Monoun, Cameroon (1984); Lake Nyos, Cameroon (1986)
ThunderstormElectrical Storm; Lightning Storm; ThundershowerIt is a weather formation where lightning and thunder are produced by a cumulonimbus cloud. Single-cell; Multi-cell cluster; Multi-cell lines; SupercellsAnywhere where the right conditions are present, but most frequently within the mid-latitudesRapid upward movement of warm, moist air from the Earth's surfaceCloud-to-ground lightning; Wildfires; Hail; Tornadoes and waterspouts; Flash flood; Downburst winds; Thunderstorm asthmaSydney, Australia (1999); Glasgow, UK (2002)
TornadoTwisters; WhirlwindsIt is a violently rotating column of air which is in contact with the ground.Multiple vortex; Waterspout; LandspoutEvery continent except for Antarctica, but most frequently in the Tornado Alley region of the United StatesA rotating wall cloud caused by the convergence of warm air in the updraft and cool airDestruction of property and trees; Loss of farms; Water contamination; Fires due to damaged power lines and gas leaks; Human impactsUnited States (Missouri–Illinois–Indiana) (1925); Manikganj, Bangladesh (1989)
Tropical CycloneIt is a rapidly rotating storm system characterized by a low-pressure center, a closed low-level atmospheric circulation, strong winds, and a spiral arrangement of thunderstorms that produce heavy rain.Tropical depression; Tropical storm; Hurricane or typhoon (depending on locations)Any of the world's oceans, with the majority forming between 10 and 30 degrees from the equatorSix general factors: Water temperatures greater than 26.5°C (80°F) is needed at depths down to 50m (150ft); Rapid cooling with height; High humidity; Low amounts of wind shear; Forming five degrees of latitude away from the equator; A preexisting system of disturbed weatherAt sea: Large waves; Heavy rain; Flood and high winds; Disruption of international shipping; Shipwrecks. Upon landfall: Strong winds; Storm surge; Heavy rainfall; Tornadoes; Human impacts. Benefits: Drought relief; Maintaining the global heat balanceTyphoon Tip (1979); Hurricane Katrina (2005)
TsunamiSeismic Sea WaveIt is a series of waves in a water body caused by the displacement of a large volume of water, generally in an ocean or a large lake.Local; Regional; Ocean-wide Anywhere, but most frequently around the Pacific Ocean (such as Japan)Displacement of water usually caused by earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, and other underwater explosionsSevere flooding; Contamination of soil and water; Permanent changes to the landscape; Hazardous materials and toxic substances; Human impactsSumatra, Indonesia (2004); Tōhoku, Japan (2011)
Volcanic EruptionIt occurs when lava, tephra, and assorted gases are expelled from a volcanic vent or fissure.Magmatic; Phreatomagmatic; PhreaticAreas where tectonic plates are diverging or converging; Areas where there is stretching and thinning of the crust's interior plateHigh gas effervescence and low viscosity of the magmaEarthquakes; Lava flows; Volcanic ashes; Volcanic gases; Catastrophic famines caused by volcanic winters; Human impactsNevada del Ruiz, Columbia (1985); Nyiragongo, Democratic Republic of Congo (2002)
WildfireWildland FireIt is a fire in an area of combustible vegetation that occurs in the countryside or rural area.Brush fire; Bush fire; Desert fire; Forest fire; Grass fire; Hill fire; Peat fire; Vegetation fire; Veld fireEvery continent except for Antarctica, with the highest risk zones being the areas having Mediterranean or Continental climateLightning; Sparks from rockfalls; Spontaneous combustion; Volcanic eruption; Human causesDestruction of property; Release of hazardous chemicals; Human health effects; Negative ecological effects on non-native vegetation; Benefits on the growth and reproduction of native vegetation and animalsVictoria and South Australia (1983); Indonesia (1997)