Difference Between Natural Disaster and Man Made Disaster

Nov 20, 2023
Why is Difference Between Natural Disaster and Man Made Disaster

Natural Disaster and Man Made Disaster: History is filled with natural disasters as well as manmade catastrophes that threaten humanity’s existence. Notably, natural disasters used to be solely responsible for the destruction. Now, however, manmade disasters also play a devastating role, often with far-reaching implications affecting property and lives worldwide. Unfortunately and tragically, mankind’s technological progress has increased with every generation, simultaneously increasing both the frequency and intensity of man-made catastrophes. Some observers argue that preventable man-made catastrophes, including man-made floods and explosions, maybe even more catastrophic due to innocent lives lost as a result. Let us now compare two forms of catastrophic events, natural and man-made.

Natural Disasters

Natural Disasters
Figure-no-02: Natural Disasters
  • Natural disasters are natural catastrophes that happen without human influence; floods, earthquakes, tsunamis land slides hurricanes droughts wildfires, and volcanic eruptions are examples of natural catastrophes which cause massive loss of lives and property and other forms of suffering – let’s examine a few cases to gain more of an insight into these tragedies and understand more clearly their aftermaths.
  • Floods are among the world’s most frequent natural catastrophes each year, defined as any sudden and excessive rise and overflow of a body of water over typically dry terrain, caused by prolonged and heavy rainfall over short times, often in response to prolonged or heavy precipitation events such as heavy downpours. While deaths due to floods may not be as great as earthquakes and tsunamis, floods still cause permanent issues including damage to human property (houses bridges roads power lines etc) shortage of food/drink and soil erosion among other consequences.
  • Drought is not flooding; rather, it refers to any extended period in which there is little or no rainfall. Drought results in water loss, severe crop destruction, shortages in food supplies and water availability as well as soil degradation as well as animal deaths, and malnutrition conditions among its many effects.
  • Natural disasters are caused by nature; humans do not directly cause them. However, humans’ actions such as cutting down trees or draining away water sources in an area may trigger drought and wildfire.

Man Made Disaster

Man Made Disaster
Figure-no-02: Man-Made Disaster
  • Man-made disasters, often known as catastrophes, are events caused by humans. Examples of man-made catastrophes are hazardous explosions and chemical spills caused by chemical or biological attacks or nuclear blasts as well as traffic collisions such as plane crashes or train accidents caused by incidents (other than attacks) that result in injuries to people as well as property loss.
  • The bhopal gas disaster was caused by human actions; poisonous gases released by Indian pesticide plants at the Bhopal pesticide plant caused a gas leak that released poisonous chemicals like Methyl Isocyanate (MIC). Thousands were affected.
  • In 1952, London experienced one of its worst manmade disasters when an unprecedented cold snap combined with anticyclone-driven windless conditions created the Smog of London (or Smog of London 1952 as it is also commonly referred to). Air pollution became the chief contributory factor, contributing to approximately 4000 000 deaths as well as other respiratory ailments.
  • Natural disasters are directly affected by human actions and activities; similarly, manmade disasters may also have natural repercussions that impact them adversely. For instance, large natural events like Japan’s tsunami and earthquake caused nuclear catastrophes which then had disastrous repercussions.

Natural Disaster and Man-Made Disaster – Why is the difference?

Natural disasters:

  • Earthquakes, floods, landslides volcanoes hurricanes tornadoes Tsunamis, and other forms of destruction caused by natural forces since time immemorial are just some of the numerous natural catastrophes which have claimed lives and property around us since time began. More damage occurs near human settlements with more destruction wrought upon property and financial losses along with precious lives lost as well as innocent ones being affected directly; while an event that happens far from human populated areas does not count as disaster status whereas when something like happens near human settlements; thus it cannot be considered disaster classification when occurring within city occupied territory but rather classified as natural hazards when occurring within cities themselves populated with humans living.
  • Over the past century, there have been an astonishing array of droughts, floods, Tsunamis earthquakes and volcanic eruptions which caused millions to perish as well as irreparable property loss and health hazards in their wake – most notably Spain Flu in 1918 killing 50 Million worldwide!

Human-caused disasters:

  • mant These catastrophes tend to be smaller-scale disasters that have increased due to technological development. Human error or inattention often results in dangers that fail to stand the test of nature’s forces and therefore become man-made disasters.
  • Crime in our global world has always existed to some degree; however, nothing creates as much chaos as terrorist acts – one of the gravest offenses against humanity. Terrorism has now become a global phenomenon and its disastrous impacts were made evident during the 9/11 attacks such as that in New York which claimed over 3000 lives and left countless others devastated and homeless.
  • Civil Wars across various nations are another man-made catastrophe that leads to the destruction of property and loss of lives, with conflict among nations regularly leading to numerous deaths and property loss; none, however, rival the devastation and intensity seen during both World Wars.
  • Accidents are another human-caused disaster that leads to property loss and injury, often with devastating results for property and lives alike. Mining disasters occur regularly around the globe – in India for Bhopal Gas tragedy as well as Chornobyl nuclear catastrophe in the former Soviet Union are two notable manmade catastrophes; recent Tsunami that hit Japan caused by natural causes was transformed into a human-caused catastrophe of immense proportion due its effects on nuclear reactors there.


Winning Disasters’ names reveal natural catastrophes as being those caused by nature – such as landslides, earthquakes and wildfires which result in loss of life and property – while human error causes other disasters, including civil wars, terrorist attacks, design errors leading to nuclear catastrophes industrial disasters etc.