Why Do Natural Disasters Happen?

Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade/CC-BY 2.0

There are many different causes for natural disasters; seismic activity, air pressure, ocean currents and soil erosion are the main causes. A natural disaster can cause damage to property, loss of life and effect the economy of the local area.

Soil erosion is caused by the wind and rain which washes away soil and rocks. This can be a contributing factor for flooding, mudslides and landslides. The change in ocean currents can change the temperature of the seas, which can increase the intensity or frequency of storms as well as kill sea life, which can lead to food shortages.

Air pressure and the interaction between high and low pressure, which can also be caused by changes in sea temperature are the cause of many natural disasters. Tornadoes, thunderstorms and hurricanes are all caused by this interaction. The rain and wind alongside these weather systems can cause serious damage to property as well as cause flooding. Along with soil erosion during a storm, rivers can burst their banks, adding to the floods.

Seismic activity is responsible for earthquakes, typhoons and volcano eruptions. As tectonic plates around the Earth shift, rubbing against each other, energy can build up. Once this energy is released, it can cause earthquakes which can cause typhoons or tsunamis. Volcanoes erupt when this pressure builds up and causes molten rock from the lower parts of the Earth’s crust to be expelled from the crater.