A natural disaster can be defined as some impact of an extreme natural event on the ecosystem and environment, and on human activities and society. The concept relies on the interaction of a natural agent—the hazard—with human vulnerability to produce a risk that is likely to eventually materialize as a destructive impact.
Lava flow from an eruption of Mount Etna, Sicily, destroys all trees and plants in its path. (©Vittoriano Rastelli/Corbis. Reproduced by permission.)
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