National Functional Centre for hydro-geological and flood risk
Management of the alert system for hydro-geological risk is ensured by the Civil Protection Department and the Regional Authorities via the network of Functional centres which converge, concentrate and integrate:
• qualitative and quantitative data from the networks that measure weather, water courses and rainfall, the national weather radar network, the various satellite platforms available for observation of the earth;
• local hydrological, geological and geomorphologic data and those from landslide monitoring systems;
• meteorological, hydrological, hydro-geological and flood models.
Tools and methods
The national alert system:
- a forecast phase comprising assessment of the expected weather, snow, hydrological, flood and geomorphologic situation, plus the effects that these conditions may determine on lives, assets, inhabited areas and the environment;
- a monitoring and surveillance phase, divided into:
- qualitative and quantitative observation, direct and with the aid of instruments, of the current weather-hydrology and hydro-geological event
- short-term forecast of the relative effects via weather nowcasting and/or inflow-outflow models based on real-time measurements.
The Civil Protection Department assesses the weather situation and guarantees, by noon every day, general weather forecasts for the following 24, 48 and 72 hours.
These forecasts enable:
- the individual weather services or weather forecast areas of the decentred Functional centres to produce and effectively interpret their own limited area forecasts and therefore allows the decentred Functional centres to proceed with models of the different effects at ground level;
- the Department to issue a National daily weather surveillance bulletin for the public and, in confidential format, a National criticality bulletin;
- the Department, Regional Authorities and Autonomous Provincial Authorities to issue, in confidential format, any necessary warnings of adverse weather conditions and criticality, both national and regional.
The Regional Authorities and Autonomous Provincial Authorities, in agreement with the Civil Protection Department, divide up and/or group together the watersheds within their competence, or parts of these, into basically homogeneous territorial areas based on the type and severity of possible meteo-hydrological events and the effects these may have on the territory. These territorial areas are called Alert Zones.
In every zone and for each kind of risk, the Regional Authorities and Autonomous Provincial Authorities must identify precursors and indicators of probable occurrence of calamities and possible effects on lives, assets, inhabited areas and the environment. In addition to their extent and quantity, assessment of effects generally concerns the health and lives of living beings in the area, the environment, businesses, inhabited areas, properties and assets, infrastructures and systems for transport, local and collective public services, health services, thus drawing up a hierarchy of the elements exposed to the hazard of the event itself.
The Regional Authorities and Autonomous Provincial Authorities, in agreement with the Department, together establish a set of values for the indicators that, for each type of risk, define a threshold system on at least two levels of moderate and high criticality, plus a base level of ordinary situation, where possible criticalities are deemed acceptable by the people.
Following a Warning of adverse weather conditions, the Regional Authorities and Autonomous Provincial Authorities declare their assessments of the criticality level expected in the different alert zones into which the regional territory is classified.