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Disaster Management and Resilience in Electric Power Systems: The Case of Chile

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Diana Maria Contreras Mojica



This is the final published version of a conference proceedings (inc. abstract) that has been published in its final definitive form by Global Risk Forum (GRF) Davos, 2016.

For re-use rights please refer to the publisher's terms and conditions.


Chile is one of the countries located at the Ring of Fire. This belt concentrates subduction zones such as between the Nazca and South America Tectonic Plate, which is the reason for the intense seismic and volcanic activity in Chile. Thestrongest earthquake in the last years (Mw 8.8), took place the 27th February 2010. The earthquake triggered a tsunami which devastated several coastal towns in south-central Chile. The official death toll was 521, while the number of missing was 56. The Government declared 6 regions as zone of Catastrophes: Valparaiso, Metropolitana, O’Higgins, Maule, BioBio, and Araucania. It is estimated that the earthquake generated a power outage that affected the 93% of the country; therefore, the electricity and communications were initially interrupted, but later mostly restored. However, it took some days in the case of some locations. Electricity infrastructure is key for the function of critical services (health, traffic control, water supply), which are necessary for undertaking the emergency response tasks after an earthquake and/or a tsunami. In normal times, the electricity infrastructure is necessary to sustain human and economic wellbeing since it supplies energy to industrial, commercial financial sectors, communication networks, and hence almost all activities in modern societies. There are four electricity supply systems in Chile: the Central Interconnected System, the Norte Grande Interconnected System, the Aysén and Magallanes. Nevertheless, the biggest system regarding installed capacity (75%) and population served (93%) is the Central Interconnected System, therefore the most important. In this project we want to support the implementation of community resilience due to power outages caused by earthquakes and tsunamis. To achieve this aim we plan to collect and analyze qualitative data to identify the needs of the affected population due to the power outage and its coping strategies.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Contreras D, Shaw D

Publication type: Conference Proceedings (inc. Abstract)

Publication status: Published

Conference Name: 6th International Disaster and Risk Conference (IDRC Davos 2016)

Year of Conference: 2016

Pages: 151-154

Print publication date: 30/09/2016

Acceptance date: 31/03/2016

Date deposited: 28/03/2019

Publisher: Global Risk Forum (GRF) Davos