Natural disaster loss is on the rise, and the vulnerability of the human and physical environment to the violent forces of nature is increasing. In many parts of the world, disasters caused by natural hazards such as earthquakes, floods, landslides, drought, wildfires, intense windstorms, tsunami, and volcanic eruptions have caused the loss of human lives, injury, homelessness, and the destruction of economic and social infrastructure. Over the last few years, there has been an increase in the occurrence, severity, and intensity of disasters, culminating with the devastating tsunami of 26 December 2004 in South East Asia.
Natural hazards are often unexpected or uncontrollable natural events of varying magnitude. Understanding their mechanisms and assessing their distribution in time and space are necessary for refining risk mitigation measures. This second edition of Natural Hazards, (following a first edition published in 1991 by Cambridge University Press), written by Edward Bryant, associate dean of science at Wollongong University, Australia, grapples with this crucial issue, aspects of hazard prediction, and other issues. The book presents a comprehensive analysis of different categories of hazards of climatic and geological origin.