NH9.9Natural hazard impact on technological systems and urban areas
|Convener: E. Petrova | Co-Convener: E. Krausmann|
The last two years set a sad record in the number and scale of natural disasters and clearly demonstrated high vulnerability of the global economy to their impact. The most serious consequences have the so-called natural-technological disasters that have place when natural hazards trigger accidents and disasters at technological objects such as nuclear power plants, chemical plants, oil refineries and pipelines, or critical infrastructure facilities. One of the most large-scaled natural-technological disasters occurred on March 11, 2011 in Japan as a result of a massive earthquake and tsunami. A distinctive feature of natural-technological events is their synergistic nature with a disaster impact on the technosphere, resulting in simultaneous occurrences of numerous technospheric accidents. The consequences are the more severe the higher are the population density and concentration of industrial facilities and infrastructure in disaster-affected areas.
Recently, the number and size of large urban centers have steadily increased throughout the world. In the last years, notable examples showing the failure of the infrastructure systems due to flood (New Orleans, Bombay) and drought (Australia, US Southeast, Central China) has highlighted the urban water hazards to which large cities are subjected. The linkages between natural hazards at a regional scale and infrastructure risks at a local scale in urban areas can be therefore considered as crucial to assess possible scenarios in the future.
The main goal of this open session is to summarize case studies of relationships between natural hazards and technological disasters and to encourage a discussion about tools and methods to prevent or minimize their consequences. The session also encourages papers showing theoretical and practical applications.