National Functional Centre for Volcanic Risk

The National Functional Centre for Volcanic Risk (Cfc-rv) is the internal technical-scientific support structure of the Civil Protection Department that carries out:

• acquisition, sharing, synthesis and elaboration of data from the Centres of Competence that monitor and supervise active Italian volcanoes;
• simulation of effects and assessment of those actually or potentially exposed, using models developed in-house or in collaboration with the Centre of Competence;
• criticality assessment to assist decision-making;
• elaboration and diffusion of surveillance and criticality bulletins and, if necessary, event reports and criticality warnings.

The Cfc-rv ordinarily operates in a state of surveillance (12 hours/day) and depending on the various criticality levels moves to a state of alert and, if necessary, of alarm (24/7) adopting the set procedures.

The Cfc-rv receives signals from the main monitoring and surveillance systems run by the Centres of Competence to enable, in the event of a volcanic crisis, real-time sharing of data and information and rapid criticality assessment.

The Centres of Competence for volcanic risk are:

• the various sections of the National Institute for Geophysics and Volcanology (INGV) in Naples, Catania, Palermo, Rome and Pisa);
• The Department of Earth Sciences at Florence University (UniFi);
• Centro Studi Plinivs, Federico II University in Naples.
The Cfc-rv also relies on support from the Advanced Operations Centre in Stromboli and its local structures:
• Customs Guards Corps Alpine Rescue (SAGF);
• Sicily Regional Forestry Corps (CFRS).

Tools and products to support decision-making.

The Cfc-rv ensures that information regarding the state of activity of Italian volcanoes is sent to the Italian National Operations Room, to other Department offices and to competent local bodies, through dedicated products published on the reserved access National alert system internet site.


The National Functional Centre for Volcanic Risk (Cfc-rv) elaborates daily “Forecast maps of areas potentially at risk from the dispersion of ash into the atmosphere and on the ground in the event of an explosion by Etna”. Based on wind fields produced by the Lami model and consequent simulations elaborated by mathematical models, every day the National Institute for Geophysics and Volcanology produces a series of maps, each valid for a 3-hour period, until midnight of the following day. These maps are transmitted to the Cfc-rv for subsequent elaboration, integration with flight sector data provided by the Italian Civil Aviation Authority (ENAC) and assumption of responsibility, with publication on the National alert system internet site, to support decision-making by authorities responsible for flight safety.