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02-10-2006

Mesimex

Presentation

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 Region, Italy.

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 System.

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.
This complex exercise includes the participation of all the national civil protection structures and that one from the four Member States - France Spain, Portugal and Sweden - which have contributed to the planning phase and who will actively participate by sending their experts on location during the simulation.

For the purpose of comparing, evaluating and sharing the experience and methods with all the staff members operating on the field, there will be one representative acting as an observer from all other European Union Member States, not actively involve while the exercise takes place, and also one observer from European Union Candidate Countries, from the Countries within the European Economic Area, from the Extra-European countries and from International Organizations such as NATO, as well as the United Nations' Agencies.


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