Here is your short paragraph on disaster!

Extreme form of hazard leads to disaster. Disaster (French des meaning ‘bad’ and aster meaning ‘star’) is a manmade or natural event which results in widespread loss of life and property.

Thus disaster is defined as “A serious disruption of the functioning of a society, causing widespread human, material or environmental losses which exceed the ability of the affected society to cope using its own resources.”


The United Nations defines disaster as “…the occurrence of a sudden or major misfortune which disrupts the basic fabric and normal functioning of a society (or community). The World Bank defines disaster as an extraordinary event of limited duration which causes serious disruption of the economy of the country.

It is an event or a series of events which gives rise to casualties and/or damage or loss of property, infrastructure, essential services or means of livelihood on a scale that is beyond the normal capacity of the affected communities to cope with unaided.


Hazards and disasters are closely related and are sometimes used as synonymous to each other. Hazard is a threat, while disaster is an event. The latter is a calamity or tragedy or a consequence of a hazard. Natural hazards that cause great loss to human life and economy are known as disasters and catastrophes.

The term disaster is sometimes also used to describe a “catastrophic situation in which the normal patterns of life (or eco-systems) have been disrupted and extraordinary emergency interventions are required to save and preserve human lives and/or the environment.”