Assessment of Chemical Risks Associated with Hydrometeorological Phenomena in a Mexican Port on the Gulf of Mexico

Rodolfo Sosa Echeverría

Journal of Marine Science and Engineering |

Autores: Guadalupe Isabel Lara Carvajal, Rodolfo Sosa Echeverría*, Víctor Magaña, Georgina Fernández Villagómez and Jonathan D. W. Kahl

* Ciencias Ambientales | Contaminación Ambiental



ccidents in port areas in the Gulf of Mexico have had great economic costs, since this is an area exposed to extreme phenomena. Tropical cyclones or cold fronts, also known as Tehuantepecers, result in intense winds and waves that impact the coastal infrastructure. The chemical risk associated with extreme winds and waves for the fuel storage tanks of the facility of the Port of Veracruz, the main Mexican port in the Gulf of Mexico, was evaluated with a historical analysis of accidents as a tool to identify significant factors in disasters and establish risk acceptance criteria. It was found that the critical hazard threshold for Veracruz corresponds to winds stronger than 160 km/h (44 m/s) that may result in coastal waves of more than 5 m high. The vulnerability to these phenomena was calculated with the vulnerability index (VI), considering the structural, functional, and chemical factors in the infrastructure, including exposure levels. By means of a risk matrix, it was determined that gasoline storage tanks have a moderate chemical risk, since exposure to the extreme wind wave hazard is low, and diesel tanks are at low risk. These assessments are important elements to consider in the expansion plans for the Port of Veracruz.