Catastrophe is a word that comes from the Greek and means destruction . The Greeks used this term to refer to the final outcome of a tragedy.
It is said that a catastrophe occurs when any misfortune happens. In antiquity natural misfortunes were attributed to the design of the gods and not to natural processes.
With the incorporation of rational and scientific thinking, catastrophes are described through processes of nature itself
There are several causes that can lead to natural disasters: earthquakes, strong fires, volcanic eruptions, tsunamis, floods, landslides, among others. They all have a common denominator: the destruction of the environment and the victims or injuries involved.
There are several words that are used synonymously with catastrophe: catastrophe, disaster, tragedy, etc. In all of them there is a regrettable and, at the same time, unpredictable component. Most disasters cannot be predicted, although in some cases there is the possibility of having approximate prior knowledge. This is what happens with some meteorological phenomena.
An extremely negative situation can also be considered a catastrophe, for example, a deep financial crisis , the bankruptcy of a family or a company , the humiliating defeat of an army or a sports team.
When a natural phenomenon destroys a nucleus of the population or causes an extremely serious human conflict (for example, an episode of war) we are facing a humanitarian catastrophe. In this type of event, the level of devastation and suffering is so great that several actions of aid and international cooperation are triggered . These resources are put in place to alleviate the chaos and pain caused by the catastrophe.
Humanitarian disasters often arouse the feeling of solidarity in the international community
In a situation like this, it is common to carry out emergency actions aimed at meeting the basic needs of the affected population.
These events are addressed by means of communication , including comment on the needs that must be met after a disaster: actions related to health and hygiene, humanitarian asylum, food supply, etc.
To reduce the effects of the catastrophe of a war, International Humanitarian Law was created, a set of norms and actions aimed at protecting people who did not participate in the war, but who are victims of it.