Cascading events can be referred to multidimensional disasters, where a primary trigger generates a non-linear series of secondary emergencies that escalate in time, becoming eventually the priority to tackle. In this process, critical infrastructure can be handled as roots of vulnerabilities, because they accumulate both physical attributes and functional nodes. When compromised, they produce widespread breakdowns of society, but also orient emergency responses and long-term recovery. Although floods have been widely associated to the failure of vulnerable equipments or to the disruption of strategic sectors such as energy, communication and transportation, their integration with the emerging concept of cascading has been limited. This open topic presents many challenges for scholars, researchers and practitioners, in particular when the implementation of the EU Floods Directive is considered. The paper presents an overview of the Floods Directive and its relation with the cascading events, using case studies and examples from the existing literature to point out missing links and gaps in the legislation. Conclusions argue that the Directive considers only local geographical scales and limited temporal horizons, which can be result inadequate to limit the escalation of events.
Pescaroli, G., & Nones, M. (2016). Cascading Events, Technology and the Floods Directive: future challenges. E3S Web of Conferences, 7, 07003. https://doi.org/10.1051/e3sconf/20160707003