Sismic Platform in Brussels: Visits in the First Three DaysDecember 4, 2009
An exhibition organised by the Italian Civil Protection Department devoted to the "Seismic Platform" and to the earthquake in Abruzzo closed today, 4 December, after attracting an average of over 300 visitors a day.Inaugurated at the Rond Point Schuman on 25 November to mark the European Civil Protection Forum, the exhibition was visited by over 3,000 people, hitting a peak on Sunday 29 November with 450 visitors. The exhibition also provided visitors with a first-hand opportunity to experience the earthquake that struck L'Aquila on 6 April, to inspect photographs taken shortly after the earthquake and to familiarise with antiseismic technology in general.
The seismic platform at the centre of the travelling exhibition entitled "Earthquakes of Italy" is one of the tools chosen by the Civil Protection Department to disseminate the ethos of prevention, increasing people's familiarity with earthquakes and boosting their awareness of the seismic risk.
The Visits. The exhibition was visited by representatives of foreign civil protection services and by employees of the European institutions, by schoolchildren and students, and by tourists and visitors simply curious to find out what "experiencing an earthquake" really means.
The visitors generally showed a great deal of interest in the phenomenon, asking staff questions about how seismic isolators work and how they have been used in the C.A.S.E. Project, as well as about the 6 April earthquake itself. The people of Brussels were particularly taken aback because, in many cases, this was their first opportunity to try out the "earthquake effect" first-hand.
A special itinerary was organised for children and schools, which included trying out the simulator and then having staff explain to them the proper conduct to adopt during and after an earthquake. The children took part in fun tests and games which allowed them to discover the crucial things that they would need to bring with them in the event of a disaster.
The Messages in the “Guest Book”. Numerous people showed an eagerness to sign the book or to leave a message of gratitude. Their number included Environment Commissioner Stavros Dimas, Dutch Interior Minister, Guusje ter Horst, Netherlands Civil Protection Director General Dick Schoof and European Commission Legal Affairs and Civil Protection Director Pia Bucella, who also left a message in the Guest Book thanking Italy for bringing the platform to Brussels.
Alongside messages of gratitude and of astonishment at the experience, a large number of messages praised the initiative as being a valid tool for alerting and educating people to an awareness and perception of risk.