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Types of Disasters

Disasters in the power sector can occur due to natural calamities as well as human acts. These include:

1.    Earthquakes;

2.    Floods;

3.   Storms;

4.    Cyclones;

5.    Droughts;

6.    Terrorist threats/attack and sabotage;

7.    Bomb threats and bomb explosions;

8.    Strikes;

9.    Major equipment failure.

Floods along with cyclones are climate-related natural disasters, on that we have but little control. We can only try to manage them and decrease their severity only to a certain extent. Landslides / avalanches mainly occur because of geo-technical instability aggravated by lubricating and infiltrating water. The impact of these disasters and their multiplier effects on economies and national development and severity of affected infrastructures need to be adequately quantified to give financial justification for undertaking relief measures.

Events such as earthquakes, hurricanes, floods, cyclones and etc. have been studied statistically and scientifically and their occurrence and intensities could be predicted along with a certain degree of confidence. Therefore, there is no certainty which these events would not exceed the predicted values based on past history and cause disaster. But, if several equipment and systems of power generating plant and transmission system are designed after site-specific studies, taking within account stipulations of the several codes / standards on the subjects, damage to plants and equipment could be greatly minimized.

We now elaborate each of these kinds of disaster and their impact on the power system. Here, we focus on natural calamities. We also highlight the pre-disaster preparedness and post-disaster activities which should be undertaken through power utilities for managing disasters.

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