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(1)In this Part “emergency” means—
(a)an event or situation which threatens serious damage to human welfare in a place in the United Kingdom,
(b)an event or situation which threatens serious damage to the environment of a place in the United Kingdom, or
(c)war, or terrorism, which threatens serious damage to the security of the United Kingdom.
(2)For the purposes of subsection (1)(a) an event or situation threatens damage to human welfare only if it involves, causes or may cause—
(a)loss of human life,
(b)human illness or injury,
(d)damage to property,
(e)disruption of a supply of money, food, water, energy or fuel,
(f)disruption of a system of communication,
(g)disruption of facilities for transport, or
(h)disruption of services relating to health.
(3)For the purposes of subsection (1)(b) an event or situation threatens damage to the environment only if it involves, causes or may cause—
(a)contamination of land, water or air with biological, chemical or radio-active matter, or
(b)disruption or destruction of plant life or animal life.
(4)A Minister of the Crown, or, in relation to Scotland, the Scottish Ministers, may by order—
(a)provide that a specified event or situation, or class of event or situation, is to be treated as falling, or as not falling, within any of paragraphs (a) to (c) of subsection (1);
(b)amend subsection (2) so as to provide that in so far as an event or situation involves or causes disruption of a specified supply, system, facility or service—
(i)it is to be treated as threatening damage to human welfare, or
(ii)it is no longer to be treated as threatening damage to human welfare.
[F1(4A)In relation to Northern Ireland, the power to make orders—
(a)under subsection (4)(a) in relation to subsection (1)(a) or (b), and
(b)under subsection (4)(b),
is exercisable by the Department of Justice in Northern Ireland (and not by a Minister of the Crown).]
(5)The event or situation mentioned in subsection (1) may occur or be inside or outside the United Kingdom.
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Text created by the government department responsible for the subject matter of the Act to explain what the Act sets out to achieve and to make the Act accessible to readers who are not legally qualified. Explanatory Notes were introduced in 1999 and accompany all Public Acts except Appropriation, Consolidated Fund, Finance and Consolidation Acts.
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