Title: A Qualitative Natech Damage Scale for the Impact of Floods on Selected Industrial Facilities
Citation: NATURAL HAZARDS vol. 46 no. 2 p. 179-197
Publisher: SPRINGER
Publication Year: 2008
JRC N°: JRC35479
ISSN: 0921-030X
URI: http://publications.jrc.ec.europa.eu/repository/handle/JRC35479
DOI: 10.1007/s11069-007-9203-5
Type: Articles in periodicals and books
Abstract: There is increasing evidence that natural disasters can trigger technological accidents and damage. These so-called Natech accidents can pose a significant risk to regions that are unprepared for responding to them. The European Commission's Joint Research Centre has recognised the risk associated with Natech events and has started systematic research into Natechs and their underlying dynamics. This work investigates the risk associated with the flooding of industrial installations through an analysis of past case histories and using expert judgement. The potential impact of three levels of flood severity on selected industrial facilities storing and/or processing (eco-)toxic, flammable or explosive materials is assessed qualitatively and a scale is developed that links the flood intensity to the level of potential damage. Our analysis indicates that natural disasters have the potential for triggering hazmat releases and other types of technological accidents. Hence, natural disasters should be considered as separate accident-triggering events in the planning, design and operating stages of industrial facilities that process or store or process hazardous substances. Our work was hampered by the lack of data on the occurrence of Natech events which indicates not necessarily a scarcity of Natech events but rather a lack of standardised reporting and record keeping.
JRC Directorate:Space, Security and Migration

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