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The Benefits of Natural Disasters: Floods, Volcanoes, and Hurricanes

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A NASA photo showing a hurricane from space.

A NASA photo showing a hurricane from space.

How Can Disasters Be Beneficial in an Ecological Sense?

Natural disasters refer to environmental phenomenons that are destructive and occur naturally. Natural disasters include floods, volcanic activity, hurricanes, droughts, and earthquakes.

While some of these disasters can be predicted and prepared for, they cannot be completely avoided and may result in damage. Some disasters can be so devastating that it wipes out human life in some areas. Whatever the disaster may be, it affects societies both negatively and positively.

Infrastructure and houses will take most of the damage from floods.

Infrastructure and houses will take most of the damage from floods.

What Is a Flood?

A flood is a large body of water that becomes destructive and impedes the natural cycle of living organisms. A flood may result from long periods of heavy rain, or rivers or lakes have overflown their banks.

High temperatures can also cause flooding when it causes ice caps and snow to melt quickly. Heavy floods can be so disastrous that infrastructure is washed away, people and animals drown, and people can be stranded for long periods.

Advantages of a Flood

  • For farmers and those in the agricultural sector, it helps them in the long run by providing nutrients to the soil it was lacking. This makes the soil more fertile and increases agricultural production.
  • Nutrients are also added to rivers and lakes, improving the health of fish.
  • There may be a relocation of fish and organisms living in water bodies and improve the ecosystem.
  • New predators and prey are introduced to areas, balancing the aquatic population.

Disadvantages of a Flood

  • The loss of lives, vegetation, and infrastructure means there will be fewer people in the labor force.
  • Less agriculture will be available for locals and exportation.
  • Fewer businesses can contribute to the economy of the country.
  • There will be mass dislocation of people, many of whom may be left homeless and jobless. To fill this gap, the government will have to spend more money.
  • The country may seek assistance from foreign countries to supply food and materials to clean and replace infrastructure. While some countries will assist freely, some will charge for their efforts, putting the country in debt and at an economic loss.
The clouds of dust from volcanos can be damaging to plants and animals.

The clouds of dust from volcanos can be damaging to plants and animals.

Volcanoes

While there are a few benefits to floods, there are a few more for volcanoes. A volcanic eruption emits hot magma, ash, and lava. Volcanoes can result in other natural disasters such as earthquakes, tsunamis, and floods.

Advantages of Volcanoes

  • After a volcanic eruption, the soil becomes rich due to the nutrients from the volcano. Precious stones and gems, once deep within the earth, are brought to the earth's surface and will contribute significantly to the country's economy.
  • Some valuable emissions from volcanoes are pumice, opal, gold, mercury, and metals.
  • It also releases good chemicals into the atmosphere. Chemicals such as carbon dioxide and hydrogen contribute to the water cycle.

Disadvantages of Volcanoes

  • People and animals in the area are under threat and must be evacuated.
  • Evacuation places a dent in the socioeconomic factors of a country mainly because it requires the efforts of the government and social groups to make sure that individuals receive shelter.
  • Families may be separated, and buildings used as shelters will not be available for regular use.
  • The eruption of a volcano releases large amounts of smoke and dust that may form dust clouds. Dust clouds will restrict the amount of light available to plants and animals, resulting in less food and more lives being lost.
An aerial view of a hurricane.

An aerial view of a hurricane.

Hurricanes

Many lives are lost every year in the Caribbean due to hurricanes. Hurricanes are a type of cyclone that consists of heavy rain and extreme winds.

Advantages of Hurricanes

  • The wind will cause topsoil to be distributed to areas in which it is lacking.
  • The property value and living conditions in some areas will improve through the redevelopment of infrastructure.
  • Hurricanes help to bring people together as they help each other in the aftermath.
  • They lower the average temperature for a certain amount of time after the storm.
  • Hurricanes can help build up the coastal areas of islands, making the island wider.

Disadvantages of Hurricanes

  • The worse part about hurricanes is the destruction of infrastructure and loss of lives, vegetation, and livestock.
  • Many hurricanes cause floods, which can wash away homes and people.
  • Strong winds can destroy large trees and buildings or use objects as missiles that can cause significant damage.
  • The loss of life resulting from hurricanes means the labor force will be lessened.
  • The destruction of vegetation and livestock means countries will have to source more food from other countries.

The Social and Economic Repercussions of Natural Disasters

In all instances of natural disasters, the social and economic aspects of a country will be negatively affected.

The redistribution of the population will affect the country negatively as overcrowding may become an issue. It may lead to increased illnesses and social problems. Families will be separated, disrupting the socialization of many. Jobs will be lost, and the economy will take a hit.

Countries will receive loans from various international institutions. However, this money should not only be used to repair damages caused by the disaster; it should also be invested in something that can produce great returns.

Sources

Comments

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What event/disaster took place that cause a company to suffer loss or vice versa

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Eve on December 11, 2017:

what are some positive consequences?

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Aa Lava on October 30, 2017:

I didn't get any BENEFITS of natural disasters. You have to state the benefits

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Disha on June 19, 2017:

please give some more points on benefits of floods.

Kelly Galoome on May 08, 2017:

what are the advantages and disadvantages of environmental disasters??.not natural but environmental

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You pretty much ripped off (without citing) Science Online. Very disappointing. http://www.online-sciences.com/the-environment/the...

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Loi-Renee (author) from Jamaica on November 27, 2014:

You are most welcome L1v. I am glad I could help. Hope your project went well.

Akkulung Apang on September 19, 2014:

Nice.. Got some knowledge about about natural disaster

Dennis Thorgesen from Beatrice, Nebraska U.S. on June 08, 2014:

All aspects of life can be bad in the short term and good in the long term. Water is one of our most precious commodities. Floods in my local area always help the trees and crops grow better the following year.

I remember seeing 11 foot tall corn a year after a flood when in normal years they rarely reach 7 ft.

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iguidenetwork from Austin, TX on April 25, 2013:

I'm fairly surprised that a hurricane and flood also offer a lot of benefits. I learned a lot of from this hub. Very informative. :)

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Very interesting hub. Very good information and love the videos. Vote up and interesting! Have a great day! :)