The Info List - Disaster

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A disaster is a serious disruption, occurring over a relatively short time, of the functioning of a community or a society involving widespread human, material, economic or environmental loss and impacts, which exceeds the ability of the affected community or society to cope using its own resources.[1][2] 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. Hazards that strike in areas with low vulnerability will never become disasters, as in the case of uninhabited regions.[3] Developing countries
Developing countries
suffer the greatest costs when a disaster hits – more than 95 percent of all deaths caused by hazards occur in developing countries, and losses due to natural hazards are 20 times greater (as a percentage of GDP) in developing countries than in industrialized countries.[4][5]


1 Etymology 2 Classifications

2.1 Natural disaster 2.2 Human-instigated

3 See also 4 References 5 Further reading 6 External links

Etymology[edit] The word disaster is derived from Middle French désastre and that from Old Italian disastro, which in turn comes from the Ancient Greek pejorative prefix δυσ-, (dus-) "bad"[6] and ἀστήρ (aster), "star".[7] The root of the word disaster ("bad star" in Greek) comes from an astrological sense of a calamity blamed on the position of planets.[8] Classifications[edit] Researchers 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 human-made, 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 emergency management measures.[9] Hazards are routinely divided into natural or human-made, 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 disaster[edit] Main article: Natural disaster A natural disaster is a natural process or phenomenon that may cause loss of life, injury or other health impacts, property damage, loss of livelihoods and services, social and economic disruption, or environmental damage. Various phenomena like earthquakes, landslides, volcanic eruptions, floods, hurricanes, 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. However, the rapid growth of the world's population and its increased concentration often in hazardous environments has escalated both the frequency and severity of disasters. With the tropical climate and unstable land forms, coupled with deforestation, unplanned growth proliferation, non-engineered constructions which make the disaster-prone areas more vulnerable, tardy communication, and poor or no budgetary allocation for disaster prevention, developing countries suffer more or less chronically from natural disasters. Asia
tops the list of casualties caused by natural hazards.

Airplane crashes and terrorist attacks are examples of man-made disasters: they cause pollution, kill people, and damage property. This example is of the September 11 attacks
September 11 attacks
in 2001 at the World Trade Center in New York.

Human-instigated[edit] Main article: Man-made disasters Human-instigated disasters are the consequence of technological hazards. Examples include stampedes, fires, transport accidents, industrial accidents, oil spills and nuclear explosions/radiation. War and deliberate attacks may also be put in this category. As with natural hazards, man-made hazards are events that have not happened—for instance, terrorism. Man-made disasters
Man-made disasters
are examples of specific cases where man-made hazards have become reality in an event. See also[edit]

Act of God Catastrophic failure Disaster
convergence Disaster
medicine Disaster
recovery Disaster recovery and business continuity auditing Disaster recovery plan Disaster
research Disaster
response Emergency management Environmental emergency Human extinction List of accidents and disasters by death toll List of disasters by cost List of maritime disasters List of military disasters List of railway disasters Lists of disasters Opportunism Sociology of disaster


^ Staff. "What is a disaster?". www.ifrc.org. International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies. Retrieved 21 June 2017.  ^ "Disasters & Emergencies: Definitions" (PDF). Addis Ababa: Emergency Humanitarian Action. March 2002. Retrieved 2017-11-26 – via World Health Organization International.  ^ Quarantelli E.L. (editor) "Where We Have Been and Where We Might Go", What is a Disaster?: A Dozen Perspectives on the Question, London, Routledge, 1 edition 1998, pp.146–159 ^ "World Bank: Disaster
Risk Management".  ^ Luis Flores Ballesteros. "Who’s getting the worst of natural disasters?" 54Pesos.org, 4 October 2008 ^ "Dus, Henry George Liddell, Robert Scott, "A Greek-English Lexicon", at Perseus".  ^ "Aster, Henry George Liddell, Robert Scott, "A Greek-English Lexicon", at Perseus".  ^ "Disaster" in Etymology online ^ Blaikie, Piers, Terry Cannon, Ian Davis & Ben Wisner. At Risk – Natural hazards, people's vulnerability and disasters, Wiltshire: Routledge, 2003, ISBN 0-415-25216-4

Further reading[edit]

Barton, Allen H. Communities in Disaster: A Sociological Analysis of Collective Stress Situations, Doubleday, 1st edition 1969, ASIN: B0006BVVOW Susanna M. Hoffman, Susanna M. & Anthony Oliver-Smith, authors & editors. Catastrophe and Culture: The Anthropology of Disaster, School of American Research Press, 1st edition 2002, ISBN 978-1930618152 Bankoff, Greg, Georg Frerks, Dorothea Hilhorst. Mapping Vulnerability: Disasters, Development and People, Routledge, 2004, ISBN 978-1853839641 Alexander, David. Principles of Emergency planning and Management, Oxford University Press, 1 edition 2002, ISBN 978-0195218381 Quarantelli, E. L. (2008). “Conventional Beliefs and Counterintuitive Realities”. Conventional Beliefs and Counterintuitive Realities in Social Research: an international Quarterly of the social Sciences, Vol. 75 (3): 873–904. Paul, B. K et al. (2003). “Public Response to Tornado Warnings: a comparative Study of the May 04, 2003 Tornadoes
in Kansas, Missouri and Tennessee”. Quick Response Research Report, no 165, Natural Hazard Center, Universidad of Colorado Kahneman, D. y Tversky, A. (1984). “Choices, Values and frames”. American Psychologist 39 (4): 341–350. Beck, U. (2006). Risk Society, towards a new modernity. Buenos Aires, Paidos Aguirre, B. E & Quarantelli, E. H. (2008). “Phenomenology of Death Counts in Disasters: the invisible dead in the 9/11 WTC attack”. International Journal of Mass Emergencies and Disasters. Vol. 26 (1): 19–39. Wilson, H. (2010). “Divine Sovereignty and The Global Climate Change debate”. Essays in Philosophy. Vol. 11 (1): 1–7 Uscher-Pines, L. (2009). “Health effects of Relocation following disasters: a systematic review of literature”. Disasters. Vol. 33 (1): 1–22. Scheper-Hughes, N. (2005). “Katrina: the disaster and its doubles”. Anthropology Today. Vol. 21 (6). Phillips, B. D. (2005). “ Disaster
as a Discipline: The Status of Emergency Management Education in the US”. International Journal of Mass-Emergencies and Disasters. Vol. 23 (1): 111–140. Mileti, D. and Fitzpatrick, C. (1992). “The causal sequence of Risk communication in the Parkfield Earthquake
Prediction experiment”. Risk Analysis. Vol. 12: 393–400. Perkins, Jamey. "The Calamity of Disaster
– Recognizing the possibilities, planning for the event, managing crisis and coping with the effects", Public Safety Degrees

External links[edit]

The Wikibook History has a page on the topic of: Historical Disasters and Tragedies

Find more aboutDisasterat's sister projects

Definitions from Wiktionary Media from Wikimedia Commons News from Wikinews Quotations from Wikiquote Texts from Wikisource Textbooks from Wikibooks Learning resources from Wikiversity

The Disaster
Roundtable of the National Academy of Sciences EM-DAT International Disaster
Database of the Centre for Research on the Epidemiology of Disasters Global Disaster Alert and Coordination System – The Global Disaster Alert and Coordination System is a joint initiative of the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) and the European Commission UN-SPIDER
– UN-SPIDER, the United Nations Programme for Space-based Information for Disaster
Management and Emergency Response], a project of the United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs
United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs

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