A control room against natural disasters: the European project ARISTOTLE gets underway
ARISTOTLE is a European project for the implementation of a system for the collection and integration of data about earthquakes, tsunamis, volcanic eruptions and extreme meteorological events, which will allow to intervene in a timely manner as well as reduce the effects of natural disasters. The project involves 15 European countries under the Italian leadership of the National Institute of Geophysics and Volcanology (INGV).
In Europe, the management of emergencies associated with natural disasters falls under the responsibility of the Emergency Response Coordination Centre (ERCC), which is the operational hub of civil protection and, if needed and upon request of the affected country, can send special units for intervention consisting of people, means of transport and equipment made available by Member States. To speed up this intervention system and integrate the available data at best, the ARISTOTLE (All Risk Integrated System Towards the Holistic Early-Warning) project has recently got underway. It involves 15 European countries under the coordination of the National Institute of Geophysics and Volcanology (INGV) with the support of the Austrian Central Institute of Meteorology and Geodynamics ZAMG (Zentralanstalt für Meteorologie und Geodynamik).
“ARISTOTLE is a two-year project funded by the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection (ECHO), with the objective of improving the analysis and understanding of natural phenomena by using a multidisciplinary approach and availability of experts in various fields” said Alberto Michelini, project coordinator and Director of the National Earthquake Centre of the National Institute of Geophysics and Volcanology. This is a “pilot project for the implementation of a ‘system’ to collect and integrate multi-hazard data on four major risks: earthquakes and tsunamis, volcanic eruptions (with special regard to monitoring of volcanic ash and gases), extreme meteorological events such as hurricanes and heat waves, and floods” explained Michelini.
The project involves the main European centres which are already operating in the field of natural phenomena monitoring and is built around phases, including the design of an integrated platform for risk management. “The ultimate goal is to enable ERCC to have, in a timely manner (3 hours after the event), all data necessary to appropriately frame up the disaster just occurred both from the scientific perspective and in terms of impact on the population and goods. This is important since the ERCC could anticipate (and speed up) the coordination of European aid to countries affected by disasters based on what the Member States have offered” added Michelini.
One of the objectives of the ARISTOTLE project is to create a “control room” against natural disasters that can directly refer to the European Emergency Response Coordination Centre and integrate scientific information from the different operating centres. “To this purpose, procedures for information networking between the operating centres and related reports will be set up and, on the other side, the team of experts will also help assess the impact of the natural disaster” concluded Alberto Michelini.