Natural hazards

Natural hazards

Find out about risks in your region and how to prepare for different situations.

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Thousands of avalanches occur in Canada each year. Avalanches can be triggered by wind, rain, warming temperatures, snow and earthquakes. They can also be triggered by skiers, snowmobiles, hikers, vibrations from machinery or construction.


Approximately 5,000 mostly small earthquakes are recorded in Canada each year.


Floods are the most frequent natural hazard in Canada. They can occur at any time of the year and are most often caused by heavy rainfall, rapid melting of a thick snow pack, ice jams, or more rarely, the failure of a natural or man-made dam.


Hurricane season officially runs from June through November when the waters of the Atlantic Ocean are warm enough to produce a tropical cyclone, a category of weather systems that includes tropical depressions, tropical storms and hurricanes.


Thousands of landslides occur every year in Canada, but most are small. Large landslides are less common, occurring only about once every 10 years in Canada.

Severe storms

Thunderstorms, hail, blizzards, ice storms, high winds and heavy rain can develop quickly and threaten life and property.

Storm surges

A storm surge consists of very high waves and high water levels caused by wind and air pressure. Storm surges can happen quickly, without allowing much time for preparation.


Canada gets more tornadoes than any other country with the exception of the United States.


Tsunamis are a series of large waves that strike coastal areas. They can happen with little warning and result in flooding and damage to coastal communities.


Forest fires or wildfires are common occurrences from May to September and can cause extensive damage and put lives in danger.

Natural hazards of Canada

Find out more about the natural hazards of Canada.

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