press release19 ottobre 2019

19 ottobre - Civil protection: the "Exe Flegrei 2019" exercise has been concluded

Four days of testing of national planning activities

The national exercise on volcanic risk "Exe Flegrei 2019", organized by the Department of Civil Protection and the Campania Region, with the collaboration of the municipalities of the red zone of the Phlegraean Fields, the Prefecture of Naples, ANCI, the operational structures and centers of competence of the Department (INGV, PLINIVS-LUPT Study Center and CNR-IREA) and the participation of the regions and autonomous provinces twinned with the municipalities involved, ended today. Moreover, for the first time, the National Commission for the prediction and prevention of major risks - Volcanic Risk Sector (CGR-SRV) has actively intervened in all the exercise phases through the evaluation of the variations in the parameters of the Phlegraean Fields volcano for the definition of alert levels.

The exercise, which involved about 4,000 citizens of the red zone of the Phlegrean Fields, saw a great participation of all the actors of the National Service who, for four days, tested the activities and procedures provided for in the national civil protection plan for the Phlegrean Fields, working uninterruptedly on the territory and at the Di.coma.c (Direction of Command and Control) set up in the area of the logistical hub of San Marco Evangelista (CE).

More than 1,500 people were involved, including volunteers from national, regional and local organizations, Fire Fighters, Italian Army, Police Forces, Carabinieri, Air Force, staff from the Ministry of Heritage, Culture and Tourism, Regional Health System, managers of road, highway and rail networks, managers and operators of essential electrical and telephone services, staff from the Region and the Department of Civil Protection, Italian Red Cross which, for the duration of the exercise, guaranteed about 1,400 meals for the Di.coma.c staff, also providing 1,800 lunch bags for the population involved in the removal test and for the operators involved in the scenarios.

During the exercise, aerial recognition of the municipalities in the Phlegraean Red Zone was also provided by a P-72A aircraft of the 41st Wing of Sigonella (CT), which operates with mixed crews from the Italian Air Force and the Italian Navy. High-resolution video images, transmitted to Di.coma.c in real time, were collected through sophisticated sensors equipped with the vehicle.

At the end of the exercise, the Head of Department, Mr. Angelo Borrelli  said 

 "Moments like this are fundamental for the entire National Civil Protection Service. It is through this type of activity that civil protection plans effectively evolve, techniques and procedures are improved and it is possible to implement changes aimed at making emergency response more effective, thanks to the active involvement of citizens and, above all, through the use of new technologies.  Indeed, our goal is to spread the knowledge of risks and good practices in order to deal with them in the best possible way, working on prevention to make our communities more aware".

With the goal to promote the culture of risk awareness and good civil protection practices, in the seven municipalities of the red zone participating in the exercise, today was held the national campaign "I don't take risks" dedicated for the first time to volcanic risk at the Phlegraean Fields. Here, volunteers of civil protection took to the streets to inform the population about the volcano and its phenomena, the warning system and the national plan of civil protection.

The exercise opened on October 16 with the simulation of changes in the parameters of the volcano recorded by the Vesuvian Observatory of the INGV and the subsequent meeting CGR - SRV.

On October 17, the activities continued with the declaration of the passage of alert from the current yellow level to the orange level with the consequent activation of the pre-alarm phase. On the same day the Civil Protection Operative Committee convened with the declaration of the state of emergency and the activation of the Di.coma.c.

The exercise continued simulating further changes in the parameters of the volcano, recorded by the monitoring networks, which led yesterday evening to the transition to red alert and the subsequent alarm phase.

The civil protection system has been tested on several operational scenarios involving the safety of cultural assets, the evacuation of hospitals, health care structures, homes and shelters for animals, checks on practicability, assisted transport and vehicle traffic management, as well as administrative continuity of municipalities.

Today, in the seven municipalities of the red zone of the Phlegrean Fields - Bacoli, Giugliano in Campania, Marano di Napoli, Monte di Procida, Napoli, Pozzuoli and Quarto - the activities of assisted removal of the population were tested. The President of the Campania Region Vincenzo De Luca attended the event and during the morning visited the meeting area in the municipality of Giugliano in Campania, where the citizens of the municipalities of Monte di Procida and Bacoli gathered.

The national plan provides for the complete evacuation in 72 hours and the transfer of citizens in the regions and autonomous twinned provinces or to autonomous accommodation. The population that today participated in the exercise was accompanied by the means of the Campania Region from the waiting areas to the meeting areas. From here, in case of real emergency, the population would be transferred by train, ferry boat and bus to the planned destinations. This phase was tested today by the citizens of the Municipality of Pozzuoli who, thanks to the active participation of the staff of the Ferrovie dello Stato group, after having reached the meeting area located at the Napoli Centrale railway station, simulated the departure on a Frecciarossa 1000 train to Lombardy region, twinned with Pozzuoli as planned.