Natural Disasters List with Pictures and Examples

When watching the news in English or reading news articles, one of the subjects that you are likely to come across is natural disasters which happen around the world. Serious ones, often make global news for a long period of time and so if you are in an English speaking country, you are likely going to want to understand what is being talked about. In this section, you will learn the names of natural disasters and the vocabulary surrounding them, enabling you to discuss the topic freely.

Natural Disasters

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A natural disaster is a major adverse event resulting from natural processes of the Earth; examples include floods, hurricanes, tornadoes, volcanic eruptions, earthquakes, tsunami, and other geologic processes.

List of Natural Disasters and Severe Weather

  • Snow
  • Snowstorm
  • Avalanche
  • Flood
  • Landslide
  • Lightening
  • Earthquake
  • Forest fire
  • Fog
  • Storm
  • Volcanic eruption
  • Drought
  • Rain
  • Drizzle
  • Explosion

Natural Disasters List with Pictures and ExamplesPin

Severe Weather and Natural Disaster Examples with Pictures 

Learn these names of natural disasters to improve your English words about weather.


Snow is precipitation in the form of ice crystals that falls from clouds.

  • Example: The ski resort was bustling with activity after a fresh snowfall, as skiers and snowboarders hit the slopes to enjoy the new snow.


Weather and Natural Disasters Vocabulary in EnglishPin


A severe winter storm characterized by heavy snowfall, high winds, and low visibility.

  • Example: The town was buried under several feet of snow after the snowstorm.

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A sudden and rapid flow of snow down a steep slope.

  • Example: The skiers were caught in an avalanche while skiing on the mountain.

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An overflow of water that submerges land that is usually dry.

  • Example: The town was evacuated due to the severe flood caused by heavy rain.

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The movement of rock, earth, or debris down a slope.

  • Example: The road was closed due to a landslide caused by heavy rain.

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A sudden and powerful electrical discharge in the atmosphere, often accompanied by thunder.

  • Example: The tree was struck by lightning during the storm and caught fire.

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A sudden and violent shaking of the ground caused by the movement of tectonic plates.

  • Example: The city was devastated by a powerful earthquake that destroyed many buildings.

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Forest fire

A large and destructive fire that spreads rapidly through a forest.

  • Example: The firefighters worked to contain the forest fire that threatened nearby homes.

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A thick cloud of tiny water droplets suspended in the air, reducing visibility.

  • Example: The driver slowed down due to the thick fog on the road.

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A violent disturbance of the atmosphere with strong winds, rain, thunder, or lightning.

  • Example: The boats were anchored in the harbor to ride out the storm.

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Volcanic eruption

The sudden and violent release of molten rock, ash, and gas from a volcano.

  • Example: The town was covered in ash and debris after the volcanic eruption.

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A prolonged period of abnormally low rainfall, resulting in a shortage of water.

  • Example: The crops withered and died due to the severe drought.

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Precipitation in the form of liquid water droplets falling from the atmosphere.

  • Example: The children played outside in the rain and jumped in puddles.

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Light rain falling in very fine drops.

  • Example: The windshield wipers were turned on to clear the drizzle from the windshield.

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A sudden and violent release of energy, often resulting in destruction or damage.

  • Example: The building was destroyed by the explosion caused by a gas leak.

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Natural Disasters Vocabulary | Video


Natural World Vocabulary

Learn useful natural world vocabulary in English.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are common terms related to disaster preparedness?

When preparing for natural disasters, it’s important to familiarize yourself with terms such as evacuation, emergency kit, shelter, and first aid. Building an emergency plan and staying informed about local hazards can help you better protect yourself and your loved ones.

Which adjectives are often used to describe natural disasters?

Natural disasters can be described using adjectives like severe, catastrophic, devastating, and widespread. These words can help convey the magnitude and impact of a disaster, as well as the threat it poses to people and property.

What types of natural disasters are most common?

Some common types of natural disasters include hurricanes, tornadoes, earthquakes, floods, and wildfires. Although the frequency and severity of these disasters can vary depending on your location, it’s essential to learn about the risks specific to your region and take appropriate precautions.

What phrases are usually associated with disaster scenarios?

Phrases like “seek shelter,” “mandatory evacuation,” “state of emergency,” and “disaster relief” are often associated with disaster scenarios. These phrases can indicate the urgency and importance of taking immediate action to protect yourself and your community during a natural disaster.

How can we categorize natural disasters for IELTS vocabulary?

To categorize natural disasters to improve your IELTS vocabulary, you can group them based on their origin, such as geological (earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, landslides), meteorological (hurricanes, tornadoes, blizzards), or hydrological (floods, tsunamis). You can also organize them by their impact on people and the environment or their level of preparedness and response.

Which disasters are unique or rare based on their starting letters?

Some unique or rare natural disasters include avalanches, limnic eruptions, and sinkholes. Although less frequently discussed than other types of disasters, these events can still have significant consequences for people and the environment. By understanding the risks associated with different natural disasters, you can better prepare and protect yourself from potential harm. 

Natural Disasters Vocabulary Practice


Listening Practice

Drag and Drop


Last Updated on November 15, 2023

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5 thoughts on “Natural Disasters List with Pictures and Examples”

  1. I’d just like to point out that not all of these are natural disasters. Like, rainbow, snow, lightning, fog, rain, drizzle, drought, and explosion are not natural disasters.


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