Climate Action

Living Edition
| Editors: Walter Leal Filho, Anabela Marisa Azul, Luciana Brandli, Pinar Gökcin Özuyar, Tony Wall

Natural Hazards: Interpretations, Types and Risk Assessment

  • Ana Milanović PešićEmail author
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-71063-1_15-1

Definitions

The English word “hazard” comes from the Arabic “az-zahr” (or “al-zahr”), a compound word meaning “the dice” or “one of the dice” and, literally, a “gaming dice” (Concise Oxford English Dictionary 2002 in Paron 2013). The first definition in the English dictionary is “a dice game in which the chances are complicated by arbitrary rules”; the second meaning is “risk of loss or harm” (Concise Oxford English Dictionary 2002 in Paron 2013).

A hazard implies a potential harm or the probability of any event that could endanger human life, material goods, or the environment.

Mitchell and Cutter (1997) perceive hazard as a potential threat to humans, society in general, and the environment. According to them, risks are partly constructed by human perception and partly by their experiences. More precisely, people can make a hazard more severe or modify it, and hazards may vary depending on the culture, sex, race, socioeconomic status, political order, etc.

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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.The Physical Geography Department Geographical Institute “Jovan Cvijić” Serbian Academy of Sciences and ArtsBelgradeSerbia

Section editors and affiliations

  • Ulisses Azeiteiro
    • 1
  1. 1.University of AveiroAveiroPortugal