How eruption forecasting and hazard evaluation capabilities can evolve to be better integrated within the operational management of volcanic crisis
About the Event:
Among the different natural hazards, the volcanic risk is the one that requires the highest integration between scientific and operational functions. The volcanic emergency management for the safety of people’s lives, requires the operational function (typically coordinated by civil protection authorities) the preparation of emergency plans based on expected eruptive scenarios and the setting up of procedures for the activation of operational alert levels. Both activities are supported by scientific knowledge and by the capacity of scientific bodies to predict dangerous phenomena with an anticipation that is known in advance. A retrospective analysis of recent volcanic crisis occurred in all regions of the world shows, however, how the current capacity of the scientific institutions (volcano observatories) to make reliable predictions about the imminent occurrence of dangerous phenomena is, unfortunately, very weak with very high percentages of delayed warnings and false alarms. This situation requires the scientific community to: i) ensure that this evidence is adequately shared with the general public to avoid overly optimistic expectations and ii) investigate if and how possible it is to promote a new type of monitoring, in addition to the multi-parametric one, which is more oriented towards the operational and risk-management needs. Furthermore, operational agencies should also find a way to better identify their priorities and needs so that the scientific community could optimize their effort. In areas characterized by high risk for human life, the probability of life loss is reduced when the efficiency of the crisis management is high and the capacity to evacuate the population from dangerous areas in due time is realistic. The risk for people living in the proximity of active volcanoes is thus reduced only if the vulnerability of crisis management system is also reduced. In this sense it is essential that the civil protection and the scientific functions are tightly linked to be better integrated and with the final goal to improve crisis management capacity and to protect people’s lives more effectively.
About the Speaker:
Mauro Rosi, Professor of Volcanology at Department of Earth Sciences (University of Pisa – Italy), has broad experience in the study of a large number of active volcanoes of Italy, South America and the World. He has been: Director of the Department of Earth Sciences; Vice-President of the National Commission for Great Risks of Italy; Director of the Seismic and Volcanic Risk Office of the National Department of Civil Protection of Italy; He has recently worked at the emergency plans of Vesuvius and Campi Flegrei.