Skip navigation links

International Recovery Platform

Glossary

List of terms in recovery.

G

Geological hazard

Geological process or phenomenon that may cause loss of life, injury or other health impacts, property damage, loss of livelihoods and services, social and economic disruption, or environmental damage.

Geological hazards include internal earth processes, such as earthquakes, volcanic activity and emissions, and related geophysical processes such as mass movements, landslides, rockslides, surface collapses, and debris or mud flows. Hydrometeorological factors are important contributors to some of these processes. Tsunamis are difficult to categorize; although they are triggered by undersea earthquakes and other geological events, they are essentially an oceanic process that is manifested as a coastal water-related hazard.

Greenhouse gas (GHG)

Gaseous constituents of the atmosphere, both natural and anthropogenic, that absorb and emit radiation of thermal infrared radiation emitted by the Earth’s surface, the atmosphere itself, and by clouds.

This is the definition of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). The main greenhouse gases (GHG) are water vapour, carbon dioxide, nitrous oxide, methane and ozone.

H

Hazard

A dangerous phenomenon, substance, human activity or condition that may cause loss of life, injury or other health impacts, property damage, loss of livelihoods and services, social and economic disruption, or environmental damage.

The hazards of concern to disaster risk reduction as stated in footnote 3 of the Hyogo Framework are “… hazards of natural origin and related environmental and technological hazards and risks.” Such hazards arise from a variety of geological, meteorological, hydrological, oceanic, biological, and technological sources, sometimes acting in combination. In technical settings, hazards are described quantitatively by the likely frequency of occurrence of different intensities for different areas, as determined from historical data or scientific analysis.

See other hazard-related terms in the Terminology: Biological hazard; Geological hazard; Hydrometeorological hazard; Natural hazard; Socio-natural hazard; Technological hazard.

Hydrometeorological hazard

Process or phenomenon of atmospheric, hydrological or oceanographic nature that may cause loss of life, injury or other health impacts, property damage, loss of livelihoods and services, social and economic disruption, or environmental damage.

Hydrometeorological hazards include tropical cyclones (also known as typhoons and hurricanes), thunderstorms, hailstorms, tornados, blizzards, heavy snowfall, avalanches, coastal storm surges, floods including flash floods, drought, heatwaves and cold spells. Hydrometeorological conditions also can be a factor in other hazards such as landslides, wildland fires, locust plagues, epidemics, and in the transport and dispersal of toxic substances and volcanic eruption material

I

Intensive risk *

The risk associated with the exposure of large concentrations of people and economic activities to intense hazard events, which can lead to potentially catastrophic disaster impacts involving high mortality and asset loss.

Intensive risk is mainly a characteristic of large cities or densely populated areas that are not only exposed to intense hazards such as strong earthquakes, active volcanoes, heavy floods, tsunamis, or major storms but also have high levels of vulnerability to these hazards. See also “Extensive risk.”

* Emerging new concepts that are not in widespread use but are of growing professional relevance; the definition of these terms remain to be widely consulted upon and may change in future.