Natural catastrophes can cause immense economic and human losses. Floods, storms, earthquakes, droughts, forest fires and volcanic eruptions are among the most devastating types of natural catastrophe. But some disasters are man-made. These include explosions, major fires, aviation, shipping and railway accidents, and the release of toxic substances into the environment. However, the distinction between natural and man-made catastrophes is not always as clear cut as you might think. Some events are wrongly assumed to be natural catastrophes, as the following examples show.