Providing a general introduction to the key concepts and existing debates within the field of hazards, human vulnerability and disaster, this text is concerned with more severe or novel disasters. The book draws upon a wide variety of case studies involving natural and technological hazards and social violence. It places emphasis upon the predictions of, and vulnerability to, disaster and links between, risk, land resource use, technological and social organization, and economic development. The work includes cross-cultural comparisons and the international scope of risks and disaster responses. It also provides an examination of perspectives and social concerns in different cultural and environmental concepts and in the roles of gender, age, occupation, ethnicity and the other social circumstances in vulnerability and loss.