Natural threat

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This is a page providing background in a specific field of expertise

A natural threat is a threat stemming from natural causes.


An agreed, common classification of natural threats does not exist. The methodical classification of all threats, drafted in the EU project VITA , probably comes closest[1]. A simplified version of the natural threats in this classification is:

  • Earth
    • Shock (earthquake, volcanic energy release)
    • Fast movement (Landslide)
    • Slow movement (setting, erosion)
    • Melting (volcano)
  • Water
    • Precipitation(rain, snow, hail)
    • Suspended in air (fog, clouds)
    • High water (deluge, floods, rising ground water)
    • Drought
    • Solid (black ice, piling of snow, avalanche, freeze-up)
  • Air
    • Movement (wind)
    • Material transport (e.g. sandstorm, tornado)
  • Space
    • Meteorites
  • Electromagnetic
    • Lightning
    • Solar storm·
  • Fire
    • Due to flammable materials (forest, heath)
    • Due to geothermal activity (volcano)
  • Biological
    • Viruses (human, animal or plant disease)
    • Bacteria (human, animal or plant disease)
    • Fungi (human, animal or plant disease)
    • Growing vegetation
    • Animals (plague)

Whereas the examples given between brackets are not exhaustive, the classification itself should be.

Footnotes and references

  1. Available on Vita