We are pleased to share with you one of our most important projects of the Pau Costa Foundation within HORIZON 2020, HEIMDALL. We are in the middle of the first stage of this project, and we would like to introduce you to the ones we are dedicating ourselves and 13 more European partners. Without further ado, we are giving you all a warm welcome to HEIMDALL!:
This current project will be ongoing for three years and with this first newsletter we would like to give you a briefing about what it is and what the project consists of. The project will last until October 2020 and in between we will keep you updated about the partner meetings, the new incomes, and in general, about the steps that we are taking towards HEIMDALL, an ambicious project that was tailored to the needs of practitioners and which we hope will respond to your needs. Here we go!
What is HEIMDALL?
It is a cooperative multi-hazard management tool which provides data exchange, scenario building and situation assessment functionalities for preparedness and response planning in relation to wildfires, floods and landslides.
What makes HEIMDALL so special?
Bearing in mind that climate change is amplifying natural disasters impacts, intensity and duration of extreme weather events in Europe and worldwide, we consider a need to build up a tool in order to foster knowledge and data exchange to cope with complex crisis situations which require participation, coordination and cooperation of multiple first-responder organizations and international aid.
What are HEIMDALL objectives?
Overall, Heimdall is focused on two main objectives:
Improving immediate cooperative situation assessment and strategic response planning activities
Improving long-term preparedness activities (e.g. strategies for DDR)
Do you want to learn more about HEIMDALL? Continue here
HEIMDALL Team met in Savona (Italy) last April to deploy the second demonstration of the project to test new HEIMDALL functionalities available as part of the Release B. In order to do that, experts prepared a Story with diverse actors who are usually present in an emergency. After the IT technicians established the lines of action and defined objectives, the Story was presented to the end users on April 16th in CIMA headquarters, located at the University of Savona (Italy)
Within this context, the partner responsible for evaluating the ethics (EKUT) of the project, distributed surveys to the end users after they tested the software to ensure that the procedures were in accordance with their ethical guidelines. The Release B of the Project was based on:
The context of the end-users and the environment in which they operate
The objective of the exercise
Physical drivers – i.e., natural hazards
Incorporation of damage and losses in a possibly realistic way
Flow of response planning / preparedness activities in the end-users reference workflow
Availability of functionality in the integrated system for Release A supporting the story (and also in stand-alone tool implementation if necessary to evaluate)
In general, the demonstration was really enriching, for both the end users and technicians, to get to know the real needs of the first responders. The cooperation among them is essential to create an efficient tool.
The second demonstration was organized in two exercises or stories, that represented the actions carried out for the preparedness and response phases in order to manage a landslide event occurred on November 24th 2016 in Monesi di Mendatica, a village in the Imperia province in the alpine area of the Liguria Region.
The Monesi landslides occurred after heavy rainfalls had woken up a paleofrana causing large terrain movements. Everything started in the morning, where the pre-alert phase was activated due to the heavy rainfalls, and continued to the emergency response phase.
The road between San Bernardo and Monesi was completely covered by the terrain and therefore Monesi remained isolated from the rest of the area. One house was completely destroyed while 25% of houses were condemned and several others heavily damaged. There were no human casualties as a result of the landslide, but the majority of people living in Monesi had to be rescued from their houses and evacuated in safe areas.
The first exercise and story represented the preparedness phase for Monesi di Mendatica landslide. The aims of the actions within this preparedness phase are “to be prepared” and ready against future events, avoiding reactive responses and fostering pro-active decisions by knowing in advance the potential affectations.
Since no in-situ sensors were available for Monesi di Mendatica landslide, some actions included in the story refered to Barberà de la Conca site. Barberà de la Conca is a village in Catalonia (Spain) that is affected by a terrain movement and is being monitored with a monitoring system consisting in in-situ hydrological and geotechnical sensors and periodic GB-SAR campaigns, owned by ICGC (Catalan Institute for Geologic and Carthograph.)
The story within the first exercise collected the actions performed by civil protection operators, the red cross operators, the local police in the period before the event, which resulted in a set of preparedness actions, such as the creation and publication of the hydrogeological risk management plan (including both flood and landslide risk in the area surrounding Monesi di Mendatica), the elaboration of a plan for raising population awareness on this type of risks and the identification of lessons learned during previous landslides, as well as a set of training activities.
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