Direct and indirect loss

Direct loss refers to the loss directly associated with original hazard impacts. Indirect loss is a consequence of such direct loss.


1. For instance, direct loss of roads and bridges due to a landslide may lead to indirect losses such as interruption of commercial flows between places.

2. Loss of factories due to an earthquake may lead to unemployment and unpayable debt; a need for reconstruction finance may lead to diversion of planned development funds from other activities.

3. Partial loss that can be repaired/ remedied is referred to as damage.

4. Direct and indirect loss could be interpreted as an element of cascading impact. See also “Cascading hazards”.

5. See also "Disruption and loss of services".

Indirect loses in education due to disaster events

In countries and communities where access to educational resources is strained, disaster events can have devastating impacts. For instance, in 2010 the Pakistan floods destroyed 11,000 schools. Thousands of additional schools had to be repurposed as emergency shelters, interrupting children’s schooling. Research indicates that children who experience climate shocks experience lower academic performance, higher absenteeism rates, and reduced educational attainment, leading to long-term implications for their future earnings. Repairs to schools and infrastructure in the aftermath of such events are often delayed, further exacerbating the situation. Disaster events disproportionately affect vulnerable students, particularly adolescent girls. In addition to missing school due to damage to infrastructure, children may also miss school due to sickness, injury, or displacement. The interruption of education caused by climate events can have lasting effects on individuals, communities, and societies.


Source: Chuang, E., Pinchoff, J., & Psaki, S. (2018, January 23). How natural disasters undermine schooling. Brookings. Retrieved on March 16, 2023.