The 'NEAMWave23' tsunami exercise involving the INGV Tsunami Alert Centre (CAT-INGV) and the other Tsunami Warning Centres of the NEAM region (North-East Atlantic, Mediterranean Sea and adjoining seas) together with the respective Tsunami Service Providers (TSPs) and Civil Protection Agencies (CPAs) will be held on 6 and 7 November 2023.
Alessandro Amato, head of CAT-INGV, explains the objectives of the exercise in the video interview. These include: a) verifying emergency response procedures b) verifying the operation of communication systems, ensuring proper awareness on the part of institutions and staff in caset of a tsunami. Last but not least, the exercise aims to ensure a high operational responsiveness of national tsunami warning centres, tsunami service providers and civil protection agencies.
The 2012, 2014, 2017 and 2021 drills were very useful in assessing tsunami risk preparedness, increasing tsunami risk awareness in the region.
In exercise NEAMWave 23, two different scenarios for two different earthquakes - and their consequences - will be simulated on the coasts of the north-east Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea.
The drill will start with the tsunami service providers (TSPs) transmitting messages containing specific information on simulated tsunamigenic earthquakes to the NEAMTWS countries that have signed up to receive the messages.
In Italy, the exercise will actively involve the Civil Protection Department, Italian Environmental Protection Agency (ISPRA) and CAT. CAT-INGV researchers will simulate a strong earthquake in the central Mediterranean Sea that will generate a tsunami. The CAT will then send alert messages to the Civil Protection Department and the NEAM area countries.
NEAMWave 23 exercise this year will also involve the communities actively working towards being recognised as 'Tsunami Ready' communities by UNESCO.
Among them, on 7 November, Minturno Municipality, in the province of Latina, will organise a vertical evacuation drill in a kindergarten - moving from the ground floor to the first floor, a safe place in case of a tsunami - to raise awareness among teachers, and school collaborators all, on tsunami risk.