Published works

Published works

Disruption of critical infrastructure during prolonged natural disasters Conference Paper 2014

TitleDisruption of critical infrastructure during prolonged natural disasters Conference Paper 2014
Publication TypeConference Paper
Year of Publication2015
AuthorsPhillips, E, de Oliveira, FDimer, Koschatzky, V, Somerville, P
Conference NameBushfire and Natural Hazards CRC and AFAC Wellington Conference 2014
PublisherBushfire and Natural Hazards CRC
Abstract

Recent events such as the 2010 and 2011 Canterbury earthquakes, New Zealand; 2009 Southeast Australia heatwave; 2010 eruption of Eyjafjallajökull volcano, Iceland; and the 2011 Tohoku earthquake, tsunami and nuclear disaster in Japan, have highlighted the vulnerability of infrastructure and essential services to long-term disruption from prolonged and complex natural disasters. Prolonged natural disasters can impact surrounding areas for weeks to months after the initial event, causing vast and on-going disruption to utility, transport and communication networks; infrastructure that is vitally important for everyday living, the economy and emergency response. The quake-stricken Canterbury region of New Zealand endured thousands of disruptive aftershocks that continued for over two years following the initial earthquake in 2010. These aftershocks contributed to delays in repair and rebuilding, and caused significant additional damage. Our growing reliance on infrastructure and technology, along with the strong interdependent nature of these critical services, can potentially turn one failure into a cascading disaster. Local impacts to critical infrastructure can also lead to the interruption of essential services in regions that were not directly impacted by the physical hazard event. It has never been more important to understand network vulnerabilities and to analyse the cost of long-term disruption, both social and economic. Whilst significant work has gone into understanding the direct impacts from natural hazards, less emphasis has been placed on understanding the vulnerability of critical infrastructure, including indirect and long-term disruption.

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