Natural Hazards and Technological Disasters
Convener: E. Petrova  | Co-Conveners: E. Krausmann , Proske 
Oral Programme
 / Wed, 22 Apr, 10:30–12:15  / Room 30
Poster Programme
 / Attendance Wed, 22 Apr, 17:30–19:00  / Halls X/Y

This session is on the theme of how natural hazards influence and/or cause technological disasters. There are many kinds of technological disasters, including sudden collapses of construction sites and mines; air crashes; shipwrecks; automobile and railway accidents; pipeline ruptures; and accidents at power, water and heat supply systems. In addition to technical, social, and economic causes of technological disasters, natural factors can play an essential role in magnifying or causing technological disasters. Almost every natural disaster is accompanied by some sort of technological one. Technological disasters can result from the direct destruction of given technical objects by a hazardous natural process. For example, the destruction of an atomic power plant or chemical plant due to an earthquake, a landslide, or other hazard; or the destruction of communications or infrastructure systems by heavy snowfalls, strong winds, avalanches, etc. Technological disasters can also be secondary effects of natural disasters, with actual or potential threats to the environment and society. A number of investigators have also found strong correlations between technological disasters and various global processes, which are not usually considered as natural disasters. For instance, solar disturbances and geophysical field anomalies can influence the techno sphere directly, causing electronics error and automatic machinery failure, as well as indirectly, through the decreased reliability of operators, drivers or pilots. In their turn these failures and the "human error" can increase the probability of technological disasters (such as air crashes, automobile and railway accidents, etc.). The main goal of this session is to summarize case studies of relationships between natural hazards and technological disasters and encourage a discussion about possible mechanisms of these relationships.