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Review of 'What are Cascading Disasters?'

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    Rated 5 of 5.
Level of importance:
    Rated 5 of 5.
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    Rated 5 of 5.
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    Rated 5 of 5.
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    Rated 5 of 5.
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What are Cascading Disasters?

 David Alexander,  Gianluca Pescaroli (corresponding) (2019)
Cascades have emerged as a new paradigm in disaster studies. The high level of dependency of modern populations on critical infrastructure and networks allows the impact of disasters to propagate through socio- economic systems. Where vulnerabilities overlap and interact, escalationpoints are created which can create secondary effects with greater impact than the primary event. This article explains how complexity can be categorised and analysed in order to find those weak points in society that enable cascading impacts to develop. Scenarios can be used to identify critical dependencies and guide measures designed to increase resilience.Experience suggests that many potential impacts of cascading disasters remain uninvestigated, which provides ample scope for escalation of impacts into complex forms of crisis.
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    Review information

    10.14293/S2199-1006.1.SOR-SOCSCI.A4KAQK.v1.ROBXSX

    This work has been published open access under Creative Commons Attribution License CC BY 4.0, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. Conditions, terms of use and publishing policy can be found at www.scienceopen.com.

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    Review text

    The “What are Cascading Disasters?” is a comprehensive summary of why the disaster risk and resilience research-base and practice need to shift their attention from a single event to interacting, interdependent multi-hazards. The article briefly explains why this paradigm shift is needed and its implications, with a diverse set of examples, and from technical, technological, historical, philosophical and finally political angles. This short piece fully convinces the reader of the importance of the topic, and inspires further reading. It has been a pleasure to read it and I strongly recommend its publication at UCL Environment.

    My only quite minor comment regards Figure 1, which I believe was originally used elsewhere: please can the authors explain the paths (a) and (b)? Again, perhaps a rather petty point: Line 115 suggests the manuscript was drafted by a single author, while there are two?

    Comments

    Hi Yasemin, thanks for your feedback. We will add the explanation of the paths. Line 115: the manuscript started as a comment by David following some papers that were circulating and suggesting a growing confusion on the topic, than I was asked to contribute to the paper...So it's simply something we missed in the review, thanks for highliting the point!

    2019-05-17 11:24 UTC
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