This report analyses past technological incidents with hazardous materials releases and damage to industrial facilities caused by the impact of storms. It discusses the vulnerability of industrial sites including that of the main equipment types present at the facility and analyses how they are damaged. The first part of the report describes the storm hazard. It discusses storm types and their occurrence, as well as the main effects that cause damage to human settlements and the environment. The report lists strong winds, heavy precipitation, lightning and storm surge as the main effects responsible for damage to industrial installations. In the second part of the report, there is an analysis of past storm-triggered Natech events. Using different sources of public information on technological incidents, this study:
- Analyses incident statistics;
- Reviews a number of “landmark” accidents;
- Discusses the lessons learned.
From the analysis of past events, the report concludes that Natech events caused by storms are frequent and that their relative occurrence is increasing compared to the overall occurrence of technological incidents from other causes in the analysed databases. The largest losses were generally triggered by heavy rain and flooding, while the most frequent trigger was lightning. The study also highlighted the role of a loss of power supply in triggering an incident or hampering the mitigation of its consequences. The study presents lessons learned from the forensic analysis of past events and puts forward recommendations for future risk reduction for all storm effects. The most important lesson is that storm predictions based on past events are not sufficient to be well prepared for future events, in particular in the face of climate change.