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A disaster is a natural or man-made (or technological) hazard resulting in an event of substantial extent causing significant physical damage or destruction, loss of life, or drastic change to the environment. A disaster can be ostensively defined as any tragic event stemming from events such as earthquakes, floods, catastrophic accidents, fires, or explosions. It is a phenomenon that can cause damage to life, property and destroy the economic, social and cultural life of people.


  • CALAMITY, n. A more than commonly plain and unmistakable reminder that the affairs of this life are not of our own ordering. Calamities are of two kinds: misfortune to ourselves, and good fortune to others.
    • Ambrose Bierce, The Cynic's Dictionary (1906); republished as The Devil's Dictionary (1911).
  • The formula for achieving a successful relationship: You should treat all disasters as if they were trivialities but never treat a triviality as if it were a disaster.
    • Quentin Crisp, Manners from Heaven: A Divine Guide to Good Behaviour (1984), chapter 7.
  • Dread of disaster makes everybody act in the very way that increases the disaster.

See also

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