Disruption and loss of services

A situation whereby access to infrastructure services is interrupted temporarily or lost, following damage or destruction of individual assets or networks or breakdown in the system as a whole.


1. Disruption of services is reversed by restoration of services, which is the process by which access to services is re-established post impact. Priorities in restoration or services should distinguish between short-term emergency provision and long-term sustainable solutions.

2. See also “Direct and indirect loss”.

Disruption of power supply post Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico, 2017

Hurricane Maria, a Category 4 storm, made landfall on Puerto Rico on 20 September 2017. A few weeks earlier, Hurricane Irma, a Category 5 storm, had struck Puerto Rico and had already damaged a significant amount of the electrical grid infrastructure. Maria further destroyed much of what was still functioning, leaving the island of 3.4 million inhabitants completely without power. In some areas, power could not be restored for up to a year. This loss of power is also thought to have been an important factor in the loss of 3,000 lives because of the storm. A major wholesale medical supply company in San Juan, Puerto Rico’s capital, was unable to maintain production. This resulted in critical shortages across hospitals in the United States, many of which sourced their supplies from this company in San Juan. The cost of intravenous bags went up by 600 percent in the United States.