Information - NH8.05 NATECH disasters: When natural hazards trigger technological disasters
Awareness of the potential threat posed by NATECH disasters (natural-hazard triggered technological disasters), particularly in densely populated urban areas, is increasing. The inclusion of NATECHs in one of the working sessions at the recent United Nations’ World Conference for Disaster Reduction in Kobe (Japan, January 2005) serves as an example. It is generally agreed that natural disasters can trigger technological accidents and that these conjoint events may pose tremendous threats to regions which are unprepared for these types of events. The recent floods across Europe in the summer of 2002 which caused the release of chlorine gas and other minor hazardous materials releases, the impact of Hurricane Floyd across the east coast in the United States in 2001 resulting in widespread water contamination from floating chemicals and debris, and the August 1999 earthquake in Turkey which triggered unprecedented multiple hazardous material releases are just a few examples that showed the danger of NATECHs particularly in the vicinity of urban areas. This interdisciplinary session aims at bringing together earth scientists, engineers, disaster risk managers and decision makers who are invited to discuss the vulnerability of technological facilities and systems to natural hazards, including the potential for domino effects. The requirements for NATECH-specific disaster prevention and preparedness plans will also be addressed. In addition, authors are invited to present methods and tools to assess the NATECH risk in urban environments.
Preliminary List of Solicited Speakers
Prof. Laura J. Steinberg
Civil and Environmental Engineering Department
New Orleans, Louisiana
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