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What is the difference between a natural disaster and a natural phenomenon?

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A natural phenomenon is an event that occurs in nature without man’s input. For instance, the sun always rises from the east and sets in the west. The weather and weather patterns are also other forms of natural phenomena. Events such as earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, erosion, the decomposition of matter, and chemical reactions can also be referred to as natural phenomena. Most natural phenomena can be perceived by the senses and can also be studied.

Natural disasters, on the other hand, are events caused by the natural phenomena, but resulting in significant damaging effects including loss of lives, property and any other result that may be considered adverse. Earthquakes are a form of natural phenomenon; however, when they occur and cause buildings to collapse, leading to loss of lives and property, then the earthquake becomes a natural disaster. Thus, natural disasters are determined not by the occurrence of the natural phenomena, but the resulting effect.

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