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Home > Science Worksheets > Natural Disasters
The Earth is consonant undergoing change we so many different factors affecting it at anyone time. When these processes cause a major destructive event, we refer to this as a natural disaster. As of late, these events seem to be more prevalent with the Earth's global temperature in a rising state. At times we see landslides occur where a downward movement or rock and soil tend to cause damage to things below it. This is a similar to avalanches that occur in wintery conditions. The earth will occasionally release large bursts of energy in the form of earthquakes. Earthquakes and just basic erosion can cause the ground (in general or;) below buildings to collapse causing sink holes. Volcanoes are obviously very dangerous when they erupt. The initial explosion shoots rocks into the atmosphere like missiles, this is followed by harmful gases being expelled great distances. Let's not forget the lava flows. Earthquakes or underwater volcanic eruptions can cause tsunamis that create tidal waves that can take down coastal towns in minutes. Hurricanes and tornadoes are violent winds that form due to environment weather patterns and conditions.
The destructive nature and unpredictability of these natural disasters makes them a major concern for humans that may inhabit areas where they occur. As the earth continues to warm, these events will unfortunately become more frequent and common. The worksheets found in this section will help students explore the natural disasters that cause an average of over sixty-thousand deaths per year globally. We will look at the most common forms of disasters, their nature, and some of statistics involved. Over the last decade there has been the formation of over a dozen different organizations that are looking into the common thought that these phenomena are becoming more common. The common question that most scientists are struggling with is whether these situations are more common or are we just better connected globally now due to technology, so we know what is happening in more places now.
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All About Them
Many natural disasters are weather related. Others are caused by geological or biological events.
All About Them Questions
When a contagious disease spreads uncontrollably, resulting in many deaths, it is called pestilence.
A hurricane is a powerful, rotating storm that begins out over the Atlantic Ocean, when the warm, moist air over the tropical water rises and is replaced by cooler air.
Which hurricane was more deadly, Hurricane Maria or Hurricane Katrina?
A tornado can form during a thunderstorm or a hurricane. When a large thunderstorm forms in a cumulonimbus cloud, a change of wind direction and wind speed at a high altitude causes the air to begin to swirl horizontally.
While tornados are usually funnel-shaped, they can also look like a wedge in the sky. Tornadoes are usually about 500 feet in diameter, but they can also be as narrow as a few feet or as large as two miles across.
A tsunami is a series of waves that can reach up to 100 feet high, causing massive destruction for miles when they come to shore and rush inland.
Once this water has been displaced, large waves ripple out from the location where the water first moved.
An earthquake is a shock wave that moves through the earth, usually causing violent shaking of the Earth's surface. There are two main causes of earthquakes: the collision of tectonic plates and volcanic eruption.
How strong (on the measurement scale) does an earthquake have to be in order to be felt?
Depending on the severity of the event, a volcanic eruption can cause injury to people and/or damage to human property.
What kind of effect can volcanic ash have on the area surrounding an eruption?
The most frequent cause of avalanches is an increased amount of snow caused by a snowstorm.
The deadliest avalanche in human history was triggered by the Ancash Earthquake (also known as the Great Peruvian Earthquake) in Peru on May 31st, 1970, killing nearly 20,000 people.
When water overflows its usual boundaries (as of a pond, lake, or river) and moves onto land that is usually dry, it is called a flood.
What caused massive destructive flooding in the City of New Orleans and St. Bernard Parish in 2005?
A drought is an extended period of dry weather. When an area gets less than its normal amount of precipitation (water that falls from the air in the form of rain, snow, or ice), food crops and other plants don't get the water that they need to grow.
Most droughts are caused by a lack of precipitation, though most droughts tend to occur in areas where normal levels of precipitation are already low.
A wildfire is a large, uncontrolled fire that destroys large amounts of land. About 20% of wildfires have natural causes such as lightning strikes, volcanic eruptions, or sparks from falling rocks. The remaining 80% are caused by human carelessness.
Where did the worst wildfire natural disaster occur between 1900 and 2015?
Hurricanes. Tornadoes. Earthquakes. Volcanoes. These reading comprehension passages, science projects, worksheets, maps, and mini-books teach kids about extreme weather and natural disasters. Add these educational tools to your teaching resources.
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Natural Disasters Facts & Worksheets
A natural disaster is a major adverse event resulting from natural processes of the earth, search for worksheets, download the natural disasters facts & worksheets.
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Table of Contents
A natural disaster is the consequence of the combination of a natural hazard (a physical event like a volcanic eruption, typhoon, tropical cyclone, tornado, earthquake, landslide, or tsunami) and human activities.
See the fact file below for more information on Natural Disasters or alternatively, you can download our 31-page Natural Disasters worksheet pack to utilise within the classroom or home environment.
Key Facts & Information
Definition and general information.
- A natural disaster is a major adverse event resulting from natural processes of the Earth; examples include floods , hurricanes , tornadoes , volcanic eruptions, earthquakes , tsunamis , and other geologic processes.
- It can cause loss of life or property damage, and typically leaves some economic damage in its wake, the severity of which depends on the affected population’s resilience or ability to recover and also on the infrastructure available.
- Most natural disasters are caused by weather. Weather disasters can be caused by hurricanes, tornadoes, floods, tsunamis, thunderstorms, wind storms, wildfires , avalanches , and blizzards .
- Some weather disasters can be predicted, such as hurricanes and blizzards. Technology for predicting tornadoes and severe thunderstorms is improving. By getting data early, people can be warned to take shelter or make the necessary preparations.
- However, some natural disasters caused by volcanoes and earthquakes are not always predictable.
- Some disasters are more common in some places than in others. When people are choosing a place to live, they should consider whether they will be living on a fault line for an earthquake or near a river that has a history of flooding.
- There isn’t any way to avoid natural disasters, but if people know what kinds of disasters are most likely where they live, they can learn what to do if a disaster happens in order to stay safe.
- Geological natural disasters like earthquakes and volcanic eruptions are triggered by activities taking place in the earth’s inner cores.
- Gravity also affects the landscape, resulting in landslides, rock falls, debris flows or avalanches since rock, mud, or snow masses slide down the slope.
- Geological hazards are potential disasters because they affect the foundations of buildings, homes, and structures such as roads and bridges.
- The impacts of geological hazards vary. In areas located above seismic areas such as the Pacific Ring of Fire, geological disasters occur more often: volcanic eruptions and earthquakes often result in tsunamis, land and rockslides, avalanches, and sometimes sinkholes.
- Countries above inactive seismic areas may still suffer geological hazards when massive landforms lose their hold, such as rockslides and landslides.
- While most geological disasters result from natural occurrences, human activity also triggers them. Carving mountains for road building weakens the soil stability held by rocks and trees.
- Mining also results in geologic disaster when mountains and caves cave in after improper use, due to the deployment of mining explosives, and failure to maintain the integrity of the mining shaft.
- Hydrological disasters are violent, sharp, and harmful alterations in the quality of the Earth’s water or in the movement of water ashore below the surface or in the atmosphere.
- Hydrological hazards and their impacts are also associated with climate change, demographic trends, land displacement, and other factors, and may have been exasperated by global climate change.
- On land, this kind of disaster happens through floods or slides. Depending on the intensity and duration of rainfall, temperatures, snow cover, geological makeup, and topography, these kinds of disasters happen.
- The place that receives the most rainfall in the world is a village called Mawsynram in the state of Meghalaya, India. This village receives an average of 467 inches of rain per year, resulting in constant flooding and risks of landslides.
- In our vast oceans, hydrological hazards happen most often. Above water, ships and water vessels suffer from huge waves and storms. Below, geological displacements result in tsunamis, devastating the shores they reach.
- The latest Tonga underwater volcano eruption not only resulted in heavy ash fall, release of poisonous gas and radiation, but also a huge series of tsunamis affecting Tonga, Japan, and other neighboring countries.
- Meteorological disasters are caused by extreme weather such as heavy rain, severe drought, severe snowfall, extreme heat, or cold, ice, or wind.
- Violent, sudden, and destructive change to the environment often results in disasters out of humans’ control. These phenomena happen everywhere in the world.
- Most common meteorological disasters include tornadoes, hurricanes/typhoons/cyclones, thunderstorms, hailstorms, heatwaves, and droughts.
- The deadliest single tornado in the United States – The Tri-State Tornado – claimed 747 lives as it crossed Missouri, southern Illinois and into southwestern Indiana on March 18, 1925. Tornadoes often develop from severe thunderstorms in warm, moist, unstable air along and ahead of cold fronts.
- Hailstorms are formed when drops of water freeze together in the cold upper regions of thunderstorm clouds and fall on earth. On severe cases, hailstones can be deadly. On April 30, 1988, India suffered its worst hailstorm, killing 246 individuals with hailstones as large as goose eggs and cricket balls.
- Cyclones are wind storms accompanied by heavy rainfall in low-pressure areas caused by a continuous process of rising hot air over the ocean surface. In other areas, cycles are called typhoons or hurricanes. Typhoon Tip (Warling in Philippines), was the largest and most intense tropical cyclone ever recorded.
- Intense heat results in two major disasters, heatwave and drought. Both natural occurrences severely affect all living things as they deplete water resources and cause heat stroke to humans and animals.
Natural Disasters Worksheets
This is a fantastic bundle that includes everything you need to know about Natural Disasters across 31 in-depth pages. These are ready-to-use worksheets that are perfect for teaching about Natural Disasters which are the consequence of the combination of a natural hazard (a physical event like a volcanic eruption, typhoon, tropical cyclone, tornado, earthquake, landslide, or tsunami) and human activities.
Complete List Of Included Worksheets
- Natural Disasters Facts
- Moving Landscape
- Geographical Disasters
- Earthquake Response
- Water Disasters
- Tsunami Alert
- Flood Preparation
- Signs of the Sky
- Sky-high Records
- Situational Analysis
- Always Ready
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the most common natural disasters.
The most common types of natural disasters include tornadoes and hurricanes (tropical storms), floods or drought, and wildfires. Earthquakes, volcanoes and tsunamis are comparatively rarer.
What causes natural disasters?
There are a range of factors that cause natural disasters. For earthquakes and tsunamis, they are caused by movement and pressure in the earth’s crust. For events like hurricanes and tornadoes, weather and pressure systems play a key role. For disasters like floods and drought, climate change and disturbances to rainfall are key factors.
What natural disaster is the most dangerous?
Each kind of natural disaster has its own degree of risk and damage to life and infrastructure. Floods and tornadoes can cause extensive but localized damage. Earthquakes, tsunamis and hurricanes can wreak havoc on large areas. But drought can cause massive damage to economies and the lives of people over many years.
What is the most common natural disaster?
The most frequent form of natural disaster around the world is flooding. This can be caused by snow melting, excessive rainfall, sudden rainfall, a storm surge from a hurricane, or the result of a tsunami.
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6 interesting natural disasters worksheets
Natural disasters worksheets.
A collection of free natural disasters worksheets for ESL, science, and general English classes.
The first worksheet above is a picture and word vocabulary matching exercise with 16 natural disasters.
The answers to this handout are -1 Hailstorm, 2 Asteroids, 3 Sinkhole, 4 Flood, 5 Earthquake, 6 Forest fire, 7 Tsunami, 8 Thunderstorm, 9 Drought, 10 Tornado, 11 Hurricane, 12 Avalanche, 13 Volcanic eruption, 14 Sandstorm, 16 Snowstorm, and 17 High winds.
To help students complete the worksheet you can give them clues such as – “An asteroid is a large rock that comes from space into our sky” or “An avalanche is snow falling down a mountain”.
Many of the disasters are self-explanatory, just give assistance where you feel the class needs it.
There is also a related natural disasters conversation questions worksheet for discussion classes.
Natural disasters writing worksheet
This is the first of 3 natural disasters worksheets for writing.
In this task students are to identify and write about 3 natural disasters – floods, droughts, and wildfires or forest fires.
Students are to write the disaster’s name, what happens during the disaster, how it is caused, and how we can survive or prepare for the events.
Natural disasters writing 2
This worksheet is the same as the one above except that it has 3 different natural disasters – earthquakes, floods, and tornadoes.
You can use both sheets together or individually depending on how much time you have. It is also a good idea to do one in class and set the other as homework.
Natural disasters writing prompt
A simple creative writing task with a picture prompt of a flood (it could also be a tsunami).
Depending on your class’s level, you might want to provide them with any vocabulary in the picture that they are not familiar with.
You can also introduce other flood vocabularies to help them such as – flow, wave, deluge, downpour, stream, torrential, float, sink, and rise.
Easy natural disasters word search
The next 2 natural disasters worksheets are word search puzzles.
This first one is easier because the 15 words to find have been given. The words can be found horizontally, vertically, and diagonally but noy backwards.
Hard natural disasters word search
You can use this fun puzzle worksheet if you really want to challenge your class!
The clues here are pictures which they must identify. The words can also be found in all directions and even written backwards. From left to right the pictures represent these events –
forest fire, volcanic eruption, hurricane, snowstorm, hailstorm
earthquake, flood, drought, sinkhole, sandstorm
tsunami, tornado, thunderstorm, meteors, and avalanche.
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Theme: Natural disasters Lexical area: Disasters and emergencies
Natural disasters are constantly in the news and provide a good topic of conversation for your students, as they will all have some knowledge of the subject. Depending on where in the world you are teaching you can use events that are closer to the students’ countries as a talking point. Obviously, if you are living very close to the location of a recent natural disaster you’ll need to be extra sensitive to your students’ feelings. To connect the topic back to the UK, you could mention the flooding of the village of Boscastle in Cornwall last summer or any floods or storms you remember.
Task 1 is a drawing dictation to introduce the topic. Task 2 is a simple sentence completion activity. Task 3 is a low level reading task using the context of a website message board. Task 4 is a higher level speaking and writing task and Task 5 is a group role play based on the idea of survival.
Topic: Extreme weather and natural disasters
Aims: • To review vocabulary related to weather and natural disasters • To practise reading skills • To practise question formation • To develop process writing skills • To develop speaking skills through a debate
Age group: 12 - adult
Time: 60 – 90 minutes
Materials: Natural disasters student worksheet and lesson plan
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FREE Natural Disasters Resources and Worksheets
Understanding how and why natural disasters happen can help take some of the fear out of them. Help your kids learn the hows and whys behind earthquakes, hurricanes, tornadoes, and volcanoes with these FREE Natural Disasters Resources and Worksheets. You'll find many kinds of resources to help including worksheets, unit studies, notebooking pages, copywork, and more.
All About Earthquakes FREE Research Journal, Printables and More
By Sarah Shelton on February 6, 2019
You may have been seeing a lot of posts and freebies on natural disasters, specifically earthquakes in the past few weeks. Learning about natural disasters can be a really fun science topic of interest for your children. Here in Florida we deal with hurricanes, but our children are not familiar with Read More
Natural Disasters: All About Tornadoes with FREE Instant Download
By Sarah Shelton on October 9, 2019
Learning about natural disasters is a great way to teach our children about the major weather events that can make the national news. We don't live in an area that is normally prone to huge tornadoes, but we do get small tornado sightings after a big thunderstorm or hurricane. Unit studies Read More
Learn All About Volcanoes with Printables, Unit Studies and More
Volcanoes are fascinating and scary. They can spew out hot toxic gases, ash, magma and even fiery rocks! Kids always seem to get excited with things that explode so they may really enjoy learning about volcanoes in a fun science unit study format. If you watched the news this past summer, you Read More
Learn About Hurricanes with a FREE Research Journal and Printables
Here in Florida, we are no stranger to hurricanes. These powerful winds can cause some serious damage that we have unfortunately seen first hand. We have many friends whose homes were damaged with flooding after Hurricane Irma, and lots of damages by falling trees in Hurricane Matthew. Hurricane Read More
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