Typology of hazards


1. Meteorological

a. Storm

  • High precipitation
  • Strong wind
  • Cyclone/ hurricane/ typhoon
  • Tornado/hail storm
  • Ice storm
  • Dust storm
  • Wave action (at sea/ lake)

b. Fire induced by lightening/ static, spontaneous coal/peat combustion

c. Drought

d. Heatwave

e. High sea-surface temperature

     It is also important to be aware of the effect of climate cycles such as the El Niño Southern Oscillation and North Atlantic Oscillation, and the effect of other cycles on predictable variations in risk of certain events such as drought, storm frequency, increased rainfall, etc.

2. Hydrological

a. Flood

  • Precipitation flood – Inadequate drainage or infiltration
  • Flash flood
  • River or lake flood
  • Mass movement dam
  • Storm surge


3. Geological/ geomorphological

  a. Volcano

  b. Seismic

  c. Mass movement (land and sea)

  d. Erosion (river bank/ coast line / reef)

4. Biological

  a. Epidemics (Human, animal, or plant and human-animal transferable diseases)

  b. Pest infestations

  c. Algal blooms

  d. Rapidly spreading weeds or nuisance plants

  e. Coral bleaching event

5. Astrophysical

  a. Space weather

  b. Meteorite impact

6. Human-induced

  a. Fire (land clearance, arson, accident, drainage of peat soils)

  b. Pollution (health, e.g. food poisoning, disease)

  • Nuclear/ radioactive accident
  • Waste mass movement (unstable spoil heap)
  • Air pollution toxic fire or explosion or leak
  • Water pollution failure or leak / spill􀃆wildlife, plant mortality, disease

        c. Violence- and conflict-induced human and wildlife mortality and ecosystem destruction

  • Disease
  • Human / wildlife conflict
  • Large-scale population dislocation or relocation
  • Ilegal activities and violence
  • Warfare

  d. Gas flaring

  e. Infrastructure failure

  • Water Pollution
  • Dam or levee failure, flood
  • Coastal protection (wall, artificial beach) failure flood and erosion
  • Mass movement (e.g. waste slumps)
  • Mining induced
  • Seismic activity and mass movement
  • Volcanic activity and mud volcano
  • Mass movement
  • Climate change and rainfall variation, e.g. mountain-top mining

7. Climate change

   a. Sea-level rise

   b. Melting permafrost

   c. Rainfall pattern change

   d. Increased storm severity or frequency

   e. Desertification

(Source: Stovel, H 2009, Disaster Risk Management Manual, UNESCO, Paris.)

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s