What are the types of natural disasters? It is not surprising that we all wish to avoid the many types of natural disasters possible on our sometimes volatile planet. Typically, the types of natural disasters we might encounter are dependent upon our living location, though minor events such as barely noticeable earthquakes have been known to occur in areas not prone to such activity, and certainly tropical storms, which often cause great damage to coastal regions, can dramatically impact weather patterns across a wide area. Several common types of natural disasters include earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, hurricanes, and tornados.
Earthquakes frequently occur along fault lines-the result of tectonic plates shifting and colliding with one another to create the experience we recognize as an earthquake. These types of natural disasters can be catastrophic, causing building and infrastructure collapse, evacuation of cities, and rescue missions to find potential survivors. We can measure the magnitude of an earthquake by calculating its seismic impact, though this has little bearing on experiencing the earthquake itself. For types of natural disasters such as these, safety training frequently takes place in schools and public meeting areas in order to be prepared for such an event if it should occur.
Other types of natural disasters, such as volcanic eruptions, can have equally devastating effects. Volcanic eruptions have, at least in Western culture, become a source of both fear and interest. For students of classical history, the infamous eruptions at Pompeii and Herculaneum continue to fascinate and provide insight into not only the culture of the time, but how unprepared people living in these regions were for this type of natural disaster. While today’s technology can often predict volcanic eruptions in a variety of ways in order to avoid death or possibly injury from these types of natural disasters, the mere possibility of a volcanic eruption is often enough to prompt evacuation of surrounding areas. It is worth noting that not all volcanic eruptions are of a highly explosive nature. Some produce steam or gas, whereas others are capable of creating large and extremely dangerous flying masses.
Two other types of natural disasters involve the amazing potential of wind of destruct and destroy. Both hurricanes and tornadoes can be measured and placed into categories based on wind speed and size. Unlike tornadoes, however, hurricanes are frequently named (for example, Hurricane Katrina). Hurricanes frequently occur along coastal areas, resulting from tropical storms that eventually make their way toward land. Power outages, flooding, and infrastructure damage are common for these types of natural disasters. Tornadoes, on the other hand, frequently occur inland, and indeed are so common in the plains region of the United States that it has been given the nickname ‘Tornado Alley’ for its high volume of annual tornadoes. As stated, tornadoes fall into types of natural disasters produced by atmospheric conditions. They produce a swirling funnel of high-speed wind, which can level homes and public buildings, uproot trees, and sometimes cause serious injury or death. The fatality rates of these types of natural disasters are often lowered by having safety precautions in place, such as knowing the safest area of your home, tornado sirens and drills, and general public awareness.