Disasters and Crises Explained

Everything you need to know

Disasters affect thousands of people around the world each year.

From earthquakes and tsunamis through to conflicts and complex emergencies, these disasters can cause deaths, homelessness and massive population movements.

But why do extreme weather events occur? How did some of the world’s worst conflicts begin? What are the devastating effects of disasters and climate change?

Explore our Disasters Explained series to discover the answers to these questions.

Disasters Explained


Disasters explained: Earthquakes

Powerful earthquakes and landslides can be very deadly. Learn everything you need to know about earthquakes and landslides and how we help.

Disasters explained: volcanoes

Learn what volcanoes are, how they erupt, and the effects of a volcano eruption.

Disasters explained: tsunamis

Tsunamis can destroy lives, homes, crops and roads in the blink of an eye. Learn more about what they are, what causes them and what the effects are.

Disasters explained: floods

Floods are among the most common and devastating disasters. Read more about why they happen and their effects.

Disasters explained: Hurricanes

Find out everything you need to know about hurricanes, cyclones and typhoons.

Disasters explained: Wildfires

Wildfires burn millions of acres of land every year. Find out more about what they are, their connection with climate change, and facts about the 2020 Australia bushfires.

How does climate change affect disasters?

Climate change is a humanitarian crisis. Find out key stats about climate change, how it affects disasters and people, and what we’re doing about it.

Why disasters are not natural

Read why we no longer use the term ‘natural disasters’, the definition of a disaster, and how we have come to change our language.

Crises Explained


The crisis in Yemen

Yemen is the worst humanitarian crisis in the world. Learn more about the crisis here.

The Conflict in Syria

We are providing shelter for families who have been forced to leave their homes due to the conflict in Syria.

The Conflict in Ethiopia

Read about the ongoing conflict in Tigray and find out how we’re helping.

Lake Chad Basin Crisis

We’re providing shelter and essential aid items to families affected by the the Lake Chad Basin crisis in Nigeria, Cameroon and Niger.

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