Overview of critical infrastructure in catastrophes

Matthew J. Levy, Rick Bissell

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

2 Scopus citations


It was not Hurricane Katrina that nearly decimated New Orleans, but rather a failure of the city’s system of levees and dikes designed to protect the low-lying city from flooding. Likewise, the 2010, 7.0 magnitude earthquake in Haiti became a catastrophe because of the massive failure of housing, government ministry buildings, bridges, the Port-au-Prince port, and hospitals. The 2011, 9.0 magnitude earthquake and tsunami in Japan went from being a large disaster to a hypercomplex catastrophe when a series of nuclear power plants, an important part of the Japanese electrical power supply, failed and melted down, drawing away precious response resources and brain power from the needs of tsunami victims, and at the same time throwing regional power supplies into a tailspin. By contrast, the 8.8 magnitude earthquake and tsunami that hit Chile in 2010 only damaged some of the CI (critical infrastructure) Chileans depend on, and as a result the resources required for response were manageable within the country’s skills and resources.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationPreparedness and Response for Catastrophic Disasters
PublisherTaylor and Francis
Number of pages19
ISBN (Electronic)9781466511910
ISBN (Print)9781466511897
StatePublished - Jan 1 2013

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences(all)


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