148 Accidents with Oil Spills Triggered by Natural Hazards

Petrova E.G. (2023) Journal of Integrated Disaster Risk Management, 13 (2), pp. 129 – 141,  DOI: 10.5595/001c.91476

ABSTRACT: In addition to direct social and economic damage, natural hazards also have a devastating impact on technological facilities, which may trigger accidents at these infrastructures. Especially dangerous consequences for the population and the environment are caused by such natural hazard triggered technological accidents (Natechs), which may result in the release of various hazardous chemical substances including mineral oil. This paper analyzes Natech accidents involving spills of oil and oil products. The materials of the author’s database of technological and natural hazard triggered technological accidents occurred in Russia since 1991 are used as initial information for the analyses. The types of natural hazards and adverse natural phenomena that caused accidents with oil spills on the territory of Russia in 1991-2021 are identified. Natechs make up about 6% of all accidents with oil spills. The main triggers of these accidents are hydrological and meteorological hazards such as strong winds, storms, floods, melt waters, rainfalls, lightning, snow loads, and heat wave, as well as landslides and other ground movements. Earthquakes caused the largest damage, but they are less frequent events in Russia. More often, mineral oil leaks occur as a result of ship accidentsor the destruction of oil storage facilities and pipelines. The regions of the greatest risk of accident occurrences with oil spills in Russia are identified.

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