- 1 Presentation
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In the framework of the Community Mechanism for Civil Protection, established by the Council Decision (2001/792/CE) of 23 October 2001, the European Commission promotes training activities including Major Emergencies Simulation Exercises.
Exercises are fundamental in order to test the effectiveness of emergency intervention/contingency
plans ready to face major emergencies.
Forecasting and prevention are at the core of the civil protection System. Indeed, as unforeseeable the disaster may be, we are aware that we can manage it successfully, through those procedures tested on the field, able to improve the population, the environment and the property’s protection.
In December 2005 the European Commission approved the Italian proposal to carry out a Community exercise on natural risks.
The Campania Region and the Amesci Association have therefore presented the project called Somma Vesuvius Mesimex- Major Emergency SIMulation EXcercise-on volcanic risk. It will be coordinated by the Italian Civil Protection Department.
MESIMEX will take place from October 18th to October 23rd, 2006 in the Campania
The exercise is based on a major disaster (classified as “C event” by Italian
Law N. 225/1992, art.2). In order to be managed, this event requires special means
and executive powers which can only be ensured by the National Civil Protection
The exercise will involve 18 Municipalities which are densely populated and located along the Vesuvius’ slopes, which although presently inactive, is one of the most hazardous risk volcano in the world.
Mesimex's scenario will deal with the simulation of the Vesuvius's reactivation,
from the early warning phase up to the final evacuation of a sample of 2thousand
people from the area at risk, as established by the Emergency Plan.
The exercise will be focused on the preparatory phase, whereas the actual eruptive phase will not be simulated.
It is worth focusing on how complex and challenging all actions that need to be carried out and coordinated at national and international level are before the eruption takes place.
The exercise main objectives lie in the National civil protection system's readiness
and effective response, as well as the testing of Vesuvio's Emergency Plan and
the intervention procedures addressing the artistic and cultural patrimony's preservation
in the area at risk.
Within the international framework, besides testing the Civil Protection Mechanism's procedures, Mesimex's simulation exercise will for the first time test the efficiency of the Member States' response by activating and deploying Volcano Expert Teams (VET) and Foreigners Assistance and Support Team (FAST).
Considering the difficulties arisen in the recent international emergencies, VET's duty will be to support the Civil Protection System's technical -scientific staff in relation to the volcano's activity monitoring procedures and the interpretation of precursory phenomena. Through the joint effort of all technical scientific elements with the operative staff, the mutual exchange of know how, the comparison of work methods and relative intervention procedures, emergency management dealing with volcanic hazard will undoubtedly be optimized.
The introduction of the Foreigners Assistance and Support Teams FAST aims to
verify the identification capabilities, to assist and evacuate those European
and foreign citizens present at the time and place at risk. The South East Asia
Tsunami emergency has pointed out how these procedures must improve by adopting
a more collaborative and interactive attitude among the European Countries, allowing
the diplomatic structures to intervene and cooperate with the local authorities.