Cascading domino effects of floods on critical infrastructures: CIrcle Tool now online available

Published: 29 May 2018

While cascading domino stones are great to see, cascading effects in critical infrastructures can lead to worst case scenarios for our society, such as large scale power outages, disruption of transportation infrastructure and significant economic impacts.

CIrcle workshop during the Understanding Risk Forum in Mexico City on May 14th.

To better understand and elaborate the complexity and interdependent relations between different critical infrastructure systems, Deltares designed CIrcle, an interactive digital tool to visualize  cascading effects. This tool can is especially useful for interactions between critical infrastructure operators, emergency services and other stakeholders.

In the last two years, the CIrcle approach was successfully applied in case studies all around the world, for example to support the update of crisis management plans, development of climate adaptation strategies and post-event analysis of critical infrastructure failures. The findings have supported the development of risk management measures in order to increase the resilience of societies.

During the projects there was a large interest of participants, project partners and other stakeholders to further use and explore the CIrcle approach. Deltares now launched the CIrcle tool online during the Understanding Risk Forum in Mexico City. With almost 1200 participants from more than 100 countries, this biennial event organized by the Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery (GFDRR) is one of the largest meetings on disaster risk management. GFDRR is a grant-funding mechanism, managed by the World Bank, that supports disaster risk management projects worldwide.

The tool is available at in 10 different languages. Users can set up the CIrcle tool with the critical infrastructures and facilities relevant for their area in two steps, and use the tool to identify cascading effects together with the stakeholders in a workshop setting. A train-the-trainer concept is available to support the preparation of workshops. Further information on the CIrcle approach can be found at