A disaster is a natural or man-made (or technological) hazard resulting in an event of substantial extent causing significant physical damage or destruction, loss of life, or drastic change to the environment. A disaster can be ostensively defined as any tragic event stemming from events such as earthquakes, floods, catastrophic accidents, fires, or explosions. It is a phenomenon that can cause damage to life and property and destroy the economic, social and cultural life of people.
In contemporary academia, disasters are seen as the consequence of inappropriately managed risk. These risks are the product of a combination of both hazard/s and vulnerability. Hazards that strike in areas with low vulnerability will never become disasters, as is the case in uninhabited regions.
Developing countries suffer the greatest costs when a disaster hits – more than 95 percent of all deaths caused by disasters occur in developing countries, and losses due to natural disasters are 20 times greater (as a percentage of GDP) in developing countries than in industrialized countries.
Famous quotes containing the word disaster:
“When disaster waves, I try not to wave back.”
—Mason Cooley (b. 1927)
“It was so long since Id seen masses of young men that Id forgotten how much pleasanter men of between twenty and thirty were to be around with than older men. It isnt so true of women. When I was in my twenties I thought the grown adults I ran into were a disaster and now I know I was right.”
—John Dos Passos (18961970)