news17 maggio 2023

Emilia-Romagna bad weather: the activities of the National Service to support the territories damaged

More than 3,300 forces committed to support local civil protection structures - Updated on May 17 at 1 PM

Maltempo Emilia-Romagna - Difesa - evidenza

To address the current weather emergency affecting many areas of the country since May 15, and in particular 24 municipalities in the provinces of Bologna, Forlì-Cesena and Ravenna in Emilia Romagna, the National Service of Civil Protection, already working to respond to the emergency that hit the Emilia-Romagna territories at the beginning of the month, has in recent days strengthened its commitment to support regional civil protection structures and local systems.

The Operational Committee, permanently convened since yesterday, May 16, at the Civil Protection Department, guarantees the coordination of the interventions of the components and operational structures to ensure the necessary connection with the Regional Operations Room and the Prefectures affected by the emergency. Today at 11:00 a.m. the briefing session was attended by the Minister for Civil Protection and Sea Policies, Nello Musumeci.

In the provinces of Bologna, Forlì-Cesena, Modena and Ravenna, CCS-Centers for Relief Coordination have also been activated, in conjunction with Municipal Operations Centers.

The situation in the affected territories is particularly critical considering the weather event of the last 36 hours, which reached peaks of 200 mm of rain, occurred on the areas already affected by the major disturbance of the first days of May, reaching rainfall accumulations of 500 mm: half of the average rainfall recorded in a year.

In these hours, activities are focused primarily on rescue and assistance to the population, including the deployment of 20 helicopters, rescue search for the missing people, evacuation activities and securing the territory. Currently, there are five confirmed victims and several thousand people evacuated. The scenario is evolving and only in the coming hours will it be possible to quantify, in detail, the number of people sheltered out of their homes and housed in public facilities, hotels or in independent accommodation.

Urgent interventions concern the restoration of essential services: there are more than 50 thousand electrical disconnections and over 100 thousand telephone services temporarily interrupted. Interventions and operations are hampered by critical issues related to site flooding. The road system is compromised in many urban and provincial sections due to landslides or flooding resulting from overflowing rivers. Disruptions also result in some sections of the A14 highway, where only emergency vehicles are allowed to pass. There are no critical issues, however, for dams in the territory.

In the municipalities most affected by the effects of the weather emergency, in support of the teams that have already been at work for days, a total of more than 3,300 units including firefighters, Coast Guard, Carabinieri, State Police, Guardia di Finanza, Italian Red Cross, Army, Navy and Air Force and personnel of essential services companies are operating, alongside hundreds of technicians, officials from municipalities, provinces and prefectures, other territorial bodies and the regional civil protection structure. The 370 people of the Mobile Columns activated by 10 different regions and more than 200 volunteers belonging to national organizations, including 90 specialized in flood and mountain relief, were also present on the field. 
More than 800 means are deployed to strengthen the regional structure and cope with the emergency, including special means such as inflatable boats, amphibious vehicles and helicopters.

The acquisition of Sentinel 1 and Cosmo Skymed Second Generation satellite images from the Copernicus Emergency Rapid Mapping service is also planned for today to obtain accurate mapping of the areas affected by the weather emergency.


Photo source: Ministry of Defense