Britain would be 'only a few meals from anarchy' and cities uninhabitable within days if National Grid is taken down by a cyber attack, experts warn
Looting and rioting would erupt on the streets and 'thousands and thousands and thousands' would die if Britain was crippled by a cyber attack, experts warn.
Modern life is so reliant on electricity security services said if disaster knocked out the energy grid the country would be 'four meals away from anarchy'.
Such are the risks Britain faces from a belligerent Russia should it launch a cyber attack or shut off gas supplies, as identified by Cambridge University academics.
A catastrophic cyber attack is one of several 'black sky hazards' that could plunge the country into chaos, along with extreme weather, solar storms or terrorist attacks.
Julius Weitzdorfer at Cambridge's Centre for the Study of Existential Risk said law and order would start to break down within days.
'I think that is a risk that is very real in the UK and it's also neglected and that sort of scenario could happen any time - it could happen tomorrow,' he told the Telegraph.
Mr Weitzdorfer warned looting would erupt as soon as people ate what was in their cupboards and authorities would lose control of the country.
Water supply and sewage rely on electricity, as do petrol pumps, and a communications blackout would mean the government couldn't inform the public.