Difference Between Natural Disaster and Man-Made Disaster


Main Difference

The main difference between Natural Disaster and Man-Made Disasters is that Natural Disasters happen due to natural influences, whereas Man-Made Disasters cause due to human-made equipment.

Natural Disaster vs. Man-Made Disaster

A natural disaster is are natural incidents. Man-made disaster happens due to the new technology of human beings. Natural disasters cause immense loss of property, land, human deaths, flora, and fauna devastation. Man-made disasters do the same but do less destruction; sometimes, man-made disasters destroy the environment more. Natural disasters can be short such as earthquakes and for long periods such as floods, droughts, etc.

There are no alarms for natural disasters, but human-made systems have set alarms and rules for anticipating bad results. Natural disasters count land sliding, volcanic eruptions, and cyclones—vehicle accidents, pollution, Nuclear wars, all these man-made devastations. Natural disasters have more effects on agricultural land and buildings as compared to human lives, whereas man-made disasters cause major disturb in human and animal lives.


Comparison Chart

Natural DisasterMan-Made Disaster
A natural disaster is natural incidents. It is the destruction of property, land, organism’s lives due to natural forces.Man-made disaster counts the wreckage made from human technology researches and the evolution of industries.
NaturallyDue to human carelessness
Can be short or longlong if not managed
Sudden, no alarmSometimes provide signals
Grater Loss
Land and property lossTo organism’s lives
Floods, earthquakes, volcanic eruptionsAccidents, pollution, explosions

What is a Natural Disaster?

A natural disaster is the destruction of property, land, organism’s lives due to natural forces. Humans are not able to handle this devastation with their resources. These disasters occur suddenly and do not give any signal or alarm. It causes huge losses to humans and the environment.



  • Earthquakes: Seismic waves transfer energy from the earth’s crust, which causes earthquakes. Different scales measure the intensity of an earthquake that ranges between 0 to 8. Some countries affect more with it, such as Japan, India, Iran, and Turkey. It causes liquefaction, land sliding, fires, destruction of buildings, flyovers, roads, and streams.
  • Floods: It is a common natural disaster. It occurs due to continuous rainfall in less period. The water storage capacity of storage bodies decreases, and they overflow. It causes infectious diseases, soil erosion, destruction of residential areas, agricultural loss, and lack of food.
  • Drought: The shortage of water and food is called drought. It may be due to less rainfall and more transpiration and evaporation. It causes soil level devastation, agriculture damage, malnutrition, ruin animals, and plant species.
  • Landslides: It is common in mountainy areas. When soil or rocks move down from altitude, it is known as landslides. It degrades soil, damage crop fields, and cause the death of living organisms.
  • Forest Fires: It causes due to harsh conditions of the environment, lightning, or any flammable substance. Forest fires increase carbon dioxide content in the atmosphere, which leads to global warming.

What is Man-Made Disaster?

Man-made disaster counts the wreckage made from human technology researches and the evolution of industries. Man is harming the environment more than natural disasters. A few years ago, forest fires were natural disasters; now, it also comes under consideration of human activities. Humans are cutting trees for timber, which is known as deforestation. Trees can handle some natural disasters such as the roots of trees anchor the soil, which prevents soil erosion and land sliding.

Trees are the source of rainfall, which can cover the effects of droughts, and plants absorb carbon dioxide, which prevents global warming and many more. But human carelessness is devastating natural gifts of God. Train accidents, airplane crashes are some small man-made disasters.


  • Industries Disasters: These are posing short- and long-term impacts on the environment. Industrial effluents are causing water pollution, degradation of groundwater, and respiratory diseases. The most critical industrial disaster occurred in India in the last decades of the 20th It occurred due to the outflow of methyl isocyanide gas. More than 50,000 people diseased due to this gas poisoning.
  • Pollution: it is the most obvious result of human activities. Air pollution causes due to the running of diesel oil in automobiles, burning of organic compounds in industries and release of heavy metals from chimneys of factories. When human inhales smoked air, they develop respiratory diseases, which can often lead to death. Water pollution is affecting wildlife and marine animals. Acid rain is ruining architectural work, plant species, and animals.

Key Differences

  1. Natural disaster happens due to natural forces, whereas man-made disaster occurs due to the mishandling of humans.
  2. Natural disaster causes huge desolation while man-made disaster causes less devastation.
  3. A natural disaster can be for a long or short duration on the flip side man-made disaster prolong if not managed properly.
  4. A natural disaster occurs suddenly conversely man-made disaster creates an alarming situation.
  5. Natural disasters cause major loss of agricultural land and crops; on the other hand, human-made disasters have major effects on the life cycle of organisms.
  6. Forest fires and droughts come under natural disasters; on the other hand, man-made disasters are accidents and explosions.


Natural disaster and man-made disaster causes immense damage to the environment, but natural disaster occurs naturally, whereas man-made disaster happens due to human mistakes.

Harlon Moss

Harlon currently works as a quality moderator and content writer for Difference Wiki. He graduated from the University of California in 2010 with a degree in Computer Science. Follow him on Twitter @HarlonMoss