Our increasingly complex and interconnected societies face a continuous challenge from a wide range of risks arising from both natural and technological hazards. Once disaster strikes, the toll in terms of loss of life and adverse long-term effects on the environment and the economy can be extensive, as numerous natural disasters and major accidents all over the globe have shown. Recent major natural disasters, such as the 2002 summer floods in Europe or Hurricanes Katrina and Rita in the United States in 2005, have highlighted the emergence of a new type of risk that manifests itself when the natural and technological worlds collide. The impact of a natural disaster on a facility storing or processing chemical substances can result in the release of hazardous materials with possibly severe off-site consequences through toxic-release, fire or explosion scenarios. A textbook example of the disaster potential of such an event in a populated region is the earthquake-triggered fire in a...
KeywordsNatural Disaster Joint Research Centre Kocaeli Earthquake Technological Hazard German Federal Environmental Agency
The editors would like to thank the authors for their contributions to this first—but hopefully not last—Special Issue on Natech accidents. We would also like to express our gratitude to the reviewers Aniello Amendola, Raymond Burby, Sergio Contini, Valerio Cozzani, Bruno Debray, Adrian Gheorghe, Russell Jackson, Scira Menoni, Norio Okada, Andrew Petrow, Charles Scawthorn, Guna Selvaduray, Laura Steinberg and Michael Struckl. Without the help and dedication of the authors and reviewers, this Special Issue would not have been possible. A big thank you also goes to Coordinating Editor Vladimír Schenk and to Ayrene Dialogo from Springer who have most patiently and professionally guided us through the guest-editing of this Special Issue.