So how vulnerable to disruption is our modern globalized networked economy? Really?
According to IEEE Spectrum, a 70 millisecond power drop in a single factory is going to cause a 7.5% reduction in shipments of FLASH memory over the next two months. Worldwide.
(FLASH memory is rapidly encroaching hard disks as the mass storage medium of choice for our computers. This affects everything from iPods and cameras to laptops and servers.)
The 0.07 second drop in voltage from the grid coincided with a failure by the uninterruptable power supply feeding Toshiba's Yokkaichi memory-chip plant in Mie prefecture. This in turn wrecked everything in production. Toshiba expect to ship 20% less NAND flash memory over the next two months. And Toshiba are just about the world's largest supplier of what's rapidly becoming a vital component of our key information processing tools. (More here, via the WSJ.)
(I'm now trying to remember the details of the resin factory fire in, I think, Taiwan in the early 1990s, that took out the world's largest source of the high purity resins used to make chip carriers, resulting in a 100% spike in the price of DRAM that lasted for a year or so ...)