From large-scale catastrophes to local emergencies, MSF’s network of aid workers and supplies around the world means we can quickly respond to disasters. With more than 50 years experience, we are experts in rolling out emergency responses in complex settings.
What is a natural disaster?
A natural disaster has been defined as any catastrophic event that is caused by the natural processes of the earth. The severity of a disaster is measured in lives lost, economic loss, and the ability of the population to rebuild. People living in poverty, and lower and middle income countries without adequate systems and infrastructure in place to protect or cope, are the hardest hit. Examples of a natural disaster include floods, tornados, hurricanes, volcanic eruptions, earthquakes, drought and tsunamis.
Within a matter of minutes, natural disasters can have a devastating impact on entire communities. Floods, drought, earthquakes and tsunami are particularly deadly; earthquakes can also leave a huge number of people injured, crushed in collapsed homes and buildings. In some cases, healthcare facilities are also damaged while tens of thousands of people are wounded. Clean water, healthcare and transport are often casualties in these disasters.