Specific contexts where hazardous events may occur singly, simultaneously, cascadingly, or cumulatively over time, taking into account the potential interrelated effects.


1. See also "Cascading hazards". 

Great East Japan Earthquake, 2011

The Great East Japan Earthquake (GEJE) struck the northern coast of Japan on 11 March 2011 with a magnitude of 9.0 on the Richter scale. It overwhelmed Japan’s resilience measures because of its sheer scale and it had unprecedented impacts. GEJE’s ripple effects included a tsunami which hit the Tohoku coastline, leading to the loss of 20,000 lives and widespread destruction of infrastructure, agriculture, housing and industry. Cascading impacts resulted in a nuclear meltdown and hydrogen explosion at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant.

Key services – critical infrastructure and facilities – the “lifelines” of society such as transportation, communication, sanitation, medical care – were disrupted. The disruption of water supply and complete submergence of the water treatment plant directly impacted 500,000 people in Sendai city. As a ripple effect, lack of clean water and sanitation facilities further impacted public health and emergency services, hampering response and recovery efforts.


Source: World Bank. (2018). Resilient Water Supply and Sanitation Services: The Case of Japan. World Bank. Retrieved February 21, 2023.