Encyclopedia of Natural Hazards

2013 Edition
| Editors: Peter T. Bobrowsky

Natural Hazards in Developing Countries

  • Paolo ParonEmail author
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4020-4399-4_250


Disasters; Environmental hazards; Extreme events; Less economically developed countries; Low-income countries; Natural disasters; Third World


This entry deals mainly with geophysical hazards (geological, geomorphological, and atmospheric) in developing countries. A brief mention of the role of international agencies in LEDC is also given. First of all, though, some definitions of natural hazards and of developing countries are required.


The word “hazard” derives from the Arabic az-zhar, a composed word meaning literally “gaming die” (Concise Oxford English Dictionary, 2002). The first English meaning is “a dice game in which the chances are complicated by arbitrary rules” (Concise Oxford English Dictionary, 2002) and only in its second definition there is a mention to what is here addressed, that is, “risk of loss or harm” (Concise Oxford English Dictionary, 2002). These definitions highlight how the term “hazard” is highly anthropocentric in nature,...

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Water Science & EngineeringUNESCO-IHEDelftThe Netherlands
  2. 2.School of Geography and the EnvironmentUniversity of OxfordOxfordUK