Natech Disaster Risk Reduction: Can Integrated Risk Governance Help?
Natech risk refers to risk originating from conjoint natural and technological hazards. In this chapter, we are concerned with risk governance of Natechs involving technological hazards arising from the processing, handling and/or storage of hazardous materials (hazmats), as well as the transportation of oil and gas by pipeline. Examples of Natechs include large fires at an oil refinery in Chiba following the Great East Japan earthquake and tsunami in 2011; multiple oil spills from offshore platforms following the passage of Hurricane Katrina in the US Gulf of Mexico in 2005; or the multiple fires and hazmat releases triggered by the Kocaeli earthquake in Turkey in 1999. Risk governance of Natechs presents particular challenges. Natech risk originates from the overlapping of natural, environmental and technological causes, making it predominantly complex and uncertain. Growing urban populations, industrialization, and globalization have resulted in more people and property at risk from natural hazards and secondary effects such as major Natech accidents. While concern over Natechs has been on the rise among researchers and government officials, a general framework for the governance of Natech risk is lacking in most countries. This chapter provides an overview of Natech hazards, their characteristics and the problems associated with Natech risk governance. We use the IRGC risk governance framework for guidance.
KeywordsWenchuan Earthquake Industrial Facility Risk Governance Great East Japan Earthquake Kocaeli Earthquake
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