Italy is a country particularly exposed to natural hazards, from seismic and hydrogeological risks right through to volcanic eruptions. It is therefore fundamental to be well organised and to ensure people are aware of how to conduct themselves in the event of a natural disaster
The Civil Protection Week took place from 13 to 19 October in conjunction with the “International Day for Disaster Risk Reduction” promoted by the United Nations.
At the end of this week of activities, the first National Conference of Civil Protection Authorities was held in Rome, chaired by the Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte, and involving the participation of Carlo Tamburi, Head of Enel Italia.
This year we made a significant contribution to the activities that took place throughout Italy during the first edition of the Civil Protection Week, participating, in particular, in the national exercise concerning volcanic risk which took place in the Phlegraean Fields, one of Europe's most active and volatile volcanic areas.
The “Exe Flegrei 2019” exercise, held between 16 and 19 October in the Campania region, involved all seven municipalities located in the Phlegraean red zone: Bacoli, Monte di Procida, Pozzuoli, Quarto, Naples, Marano and Giugliano. In this area the principal measure for protecting the population involves the evacuation of the area before a possible eruption starts, and it was exactly this operation that was simulated, activating all levels of the warning and alert system.
It was the most significant volcanic risk exercise ever carried out at national level and was attended by the Head of the Civil Protection Department Angelo Borrelli, the President of the Campania Regional Government Vincenzo De Luca, and a plethora of international observers including the US Consul General and a delegation from NATO's operational command.
More than 1,500 people were involved in the exercise, including a team from Enel that, as part of the Civil Protection Operations Committee, participated in the entire exercise and made a significant contribution in developing the emergency scenario during the preceding months.
A number of different power outage scenarios were simulated during the exercise, in particular potential blackouts on the islands of Ischia and Procida where, in a real-life emergency, around 120 generators will be transported and set up.
The exercise allowed us to successfully test our procedures, thus enabling us to ensure we meet our primary objectives in the event of an emergency. These objectives being to secure electricity supplies to areas within and outside the red zone as well as to the evacuation operation's strategic locations, not to mention ensuring the safety of our staff involved throughout the territory as well as citizens directly impacted by the disaster.
For this exercise, the Head of the Civil Protection Department organised the “Io non rischio (I don't take risks)” national communications campaign aimed at promoting good civil protection practices with a focus, for this particular occasion, on the volcanic risk in the Phlegraean Fields. Volunteers informed the populations of those municipalities located within the red zone about the volcano, a potential eruption and its consequences, the alert system and the national civil protection plan.
To find out more about volcanic risk in the Phlegraean area and the emergency plan, watch this documentary produced by the Civil Protection Department.