A natural disaster can be defined in its broadest sense as a serious disruption of the functioning of a community or a society due to the occurrence of an abnormal or infrequent hazard which causes losses that exceed the ability of those affected to cope with (UNISDR 2004: 17, UNDP 2004: 98). Usually, the disaster management literature distinguishes between sudden-onset and slow-onset events (Benson and Clay 2004: 6). Sudden-onset events, including extreme geotectonic events such as earthquakes, volcanic eruptions or slow mass movements and extreme weather events like cyclones, floods or winter storms, cause immediate losses and disruptions. Slow-onset events are either periodical or permanent in nature, like drought or desertification.


Natural Disaster Disaster Risk Risk Management Strategy Disaster Risk Management Financial Vulnerability 
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© Deutscher Universitäts-Verlag | GWV Fachverlage GmbH, Wiesbaden 2006

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