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Natural disasters can have a life-altering impact on the individuals, families and society. But the effect of natural disasters can be felt at the community , city and state level, or many times can impact an entire country. How well the impact of a disaster event is absorbed has much to do with the intensity of the impact and the level of preparedness and resilience of the subject impacted. Just as a natural phenomenon can change the landscape of our personal lives as well as aspects of our community, so too can different types of disasters drastically alter the natural environment. The impacts of disasters , whether natural or man-made, not only have human dimensions, but environmental ones as well. Environmental conditions may exacerbate the impact of a disaster, and vice versa, disasters have an impact on the environment. Deforestation, forest management practices, agriculture systems etc. can exacerbate the negative environmental impacts of a storm or typhoon, leading to landslides, flooding, silting and ground/surface water contamination.

The cyclones that occurred in Myanmar in 2008, or the wildfires that spread throughout California in 2009 are examples of how areas of land that detail whole ecosystems can be dramatically damaged or transformed from a single disaster event. On a larger scale, the debate regarding how to address global climate change and the resulting natural impacts is further punctuated by estimates of sea level increases that will completely swamp some island nations. Furthermore, the rapid desalination of salt water oceans caused by melting glaciers could deprive the world of 30 percent or more of its edible fish supply, and the loss of coral reefs from the same cause would put numerous coastal regions in jeopardy of tidal waves and surges.

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