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Journal of Homeland Security and Emergency Management

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The Impact of Natural Disasters on Critical Infrastructures: A Domino Effect-based Study

Farid Kadri
  • University of Lille Nord de France, F-59000 Lille, France; and UVHC, TEMPO Laboratory, ‘‘Production, Services, Information’’ Team, F-59313 Valenciennes, France
  • Other articles by this author:
  • De Gruyter OnlineGoogle Scholar
/ Babiga Birregah
  • Corresponding author
  • Charles Delaunay Institute, LM2S-STMR, University of Technology of Troyes, UMR 6281, CNRS, Troyes, France
  • Email
  • Other articles by this author:
  • De Gruyter OnlineGoogle Scholar
/ Eric Châtelet
  • Charles Delaunay Institute, LM2S-STMR, University of Technology of Troyes, UMR 6281, CNRS, Troyes, France
  • Other articles by this author:
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Published Online: 2014-06-05 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/jhsem-2012-0077


Recent events show a significant increase in the number of disasters with natural and/or technological causes, which could have potentially serious consequences for critical infrastructures. Were these infrastructures to fail or be destroyed, the resulting cascade effect (chain of accidents) could lead to catastrophic damage and affect not only the plants, but also people, the environment and the economy. This rise in the number of disasters over the years is due to industrial and human activity as well as society’s sensitivity to major events (hazards). The construction of industrial complexes brings with it stocks of hazardous substances, increased transport infrastructure (road, railways, shipping and pipelines), a rise in population and its concentration, malicious behavior and human error. This paper presents a methodology for carrying out risk assessments on critical infrastructure through the analysis of cascade effects. The proposed methodology can be used to provide critical infrastructures with greater protection and to limit/mitigate the extent of the damage caused by their failure. The paper ends with a conclusion and as series of proposal for improving such an analysis.

Keywords: critical infrastructures; domino effect; Nat-Tech; natural risks; probabilistic modeling; risk assessment


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About the article

Corresponding author: Babiga Birregah, Charles Delaunay Institute, LM2S-STMR, University of Technology of Troyes, UMR 6281, CNRS, Troyes, France, e-mail:

Published Online: 2014-06-05

Citation Information: Journal of Homeland Security and Emergency Management, Volume 11, Issue 2, Pages 217–241, ISSN (Online) 1547-7355, ISSN (Print) 2194-6361, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/jhsem-2012-0077.

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