What would happen if a lot of miners stopped mining suddenly?


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I am curious. The mining difficulty is set every 2016 blocks (roughly every 2 weeks). What if something happened that would put a lot of miners offline (e.g. a bitcoin flaw, natural disaster in a area with a lot of mining centralisation, China expanding their firewall, etc.).
In this case, assumed the total hash rate of the network dropped by some large percentage, then every block would take longer to validate until next retarget of block difficulty. But since there is also a max change in block difficulty per 2016 blocks, the change could take a while to be adjusted.

In the meantime, the bitcoin network would function a lot slower, transactions would pile up, etc.

Is there any solutions/safeguards in place for an event like this? Or has anyone written blogs/articles on this that someone can refer me to?

submitted by /u/Dymix
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