Natural hazards

To ensure successful technical application to disaster management, space-based information has to be seamlessly integrated into established policies, plans, operational procedures and infrastructure. Overview information on these organizational issues is helpful to support this process.

This section provides this overview by offering a summary of characteristics, impacts/damages, emergency action, mitigation, and further measures for the different types of disasters. Furthermore links to existing disaster management guides from different institutions have been compiled.

The information currently provided is by no means complete, and any user of this website is invited to contribute content and/or to provide feedback. Please use the contact form on this page to contact the editing team.

  1. In general, drought is defined as an extended period - a season, a year, or several years - of deficient rainfall relative to the statistical multi-year average for a region. However, dozens of more specific drought definitions are used around the...
  2. The scale of earthquakes is commonly measured by Richter scale which compares the maximum heights of the seismic waves at a distance of 100 kilometers from the point on the earth's surface directly above where the earthquake originated within the...
  3. An epidemic is defined as the occurrence of an illness or health-related event that is unusually large or unexpected. Epidemics are commonly caused by a disease of infectious or parasitic origin. Infectious diseases such as cholera, meningococcal...
  4. Changes in temperature extremes tend to follow mean temperature changes in many parts of the world. IPCC indicate that cold extreme cold extremes warm faster than warm extremes by about 30% – 40% globally averaged (Andreas Strerl et al, 2008). Many...
  5. A simple definition of flooding is water where it is not wanted. Another, more comprehensive definition of a flood is: A general and temporary condition of partial or complete inundation of normally dry land areas from overflow of inland or tidal...
  6. Mass movements are massive failures of slope masses including rock, debris, soils and snow/ice (Parkash, National Institute of Disaster Management, New Delhi). These mass movements are sometimes associated with other disaster such as earthquakes,...
  7. “Tsunami” is a Japanese word in which “tsu” means harbor and “nami” means wave. Thus the word means “harbor wave”. Tsunami is a series of waves that can travel at speeds averaging 450 (and up to 600) miles per hour in the open ocean. Most of...
  8. A volcano is a mountain opening downwards to the reservoir of molten rock towards the surface of earth. Volcanoes are made by the accrual of igneous products. As the pressure from gases in the molted rock becomes intense, the eruption takes place....
  9. What is a wildfire? A wildfire is an unplanned, unwanted wildland fire including unauthorized human-caused fires[fn]NWCG (National Wildfire Coordinating Group), 2006, Glossary of Wildfire Terminology, p.179. http://www.fire.uni-freiburg.de/...