13: When the Unexpected Becomes Frequent

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The impact of disasters usually has a national echo, with a sensationalization that attracts extraordinary funds and ad-hoc recovery policies. Much less spectacular, but potentially even more dangerous for local systems, are the increasingly frequent minor events. Far from being newsworthy, however, these events can in the long run become the main source of disaster. The direct damage caused by an event is only one part of their negative externalities. There are other important indirect damages caused by this multitude of frequent events. The sequence of these events could collapse the system in question much more than a single major event by acting on the breakdown of collective trust in the affected local system. Climate change also entails an increase of disaster risk related to the frequent repetition of minor events. This chapter describes the progress of landslide and high wind events effects in the Italian northeastern mountains before, during, and after the 2018 VaiaStorm. The paper will show how minor events precede and follow the known disaster, and prevent a real recovery, causing ancillary damages that in the long run negatethe possibility of local communities and territories recovering.

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