A natural disaster is a major adverse event resulting from natural processes of the Earth; examples include floods, volcanic eruptions, earthquakes, tsunamis, and other geologic processes. A natural disaster can cause loss of life or property damage, and typically leaves some economic damage in its wake, the severity of which depends on the affected population's resilience, or ability to recover. An adverse event will not rise to the level of a disaster if it occurs in an area without vulnerable population. In a vulnerable area, however, such as San Francisco, an earthquake can have disastrous consequences and leave lasting damage, requiring years to repair.
An earthquake is the result of a sudden release of energy in the Earth's crust that creates seismic waves. At the Earth's surface, earthquakes manifest themselves by vibration, shaking and sometimes displacement of the ground. The vibrations may vary in magnitude. Earthquakes are caused mostly by slippage within geological faults, but also by other events such as volcanic activity, landslides, mine blasts, and nuclear tests. The underground point of origin of the earthquake is called the focus. The point directly above the focus on the surface is called the epicenter. Earthquakes by themselves rarely kill people or wildlife. It is usually the secondary events that they trigger, such as building collapse, fires, tsunamis (seismic sea waves) and volcanoes, that are actually the human disaster. Many of these could possibly be avoided by better construction, safety systems, early warning and planning. Some of the most significant earthquakes in recent times include: The 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake, the third largest earthquake recorded in history,registering a moment magnitude of 9.1-9.3. The huge tsunamis triggered by this earthquake killed at least 229,000 people. The 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami registered a moment magnitude of 9.0. The death toll from the earthquake and tsunami is over...
Please join StudyMode to read the full document