International alarms

In Italy there is a network of stations for monitoring seismic events, managed by public research organisms and universities. In particular, the Istituto Nazionale di Geofisica (Italian Geophysics Institute) manages the 32 national monitoring stations distributed across the Italian territory and connected in real time to the central office in Rome. Since 1981 there is a National Group that studies the problems inherent to defence from earthquakes, promoted by the Council of Ministers, while the Servizio Sismico Nazionale (Italian Seismic Service) has the task of monitoring the application of the seismic law that regulates building laws in seismic environments. A seismic classification of the entire territory has been elaborated and is also updated constantly, over 8000 municipalities have been subdivided into 3 different levels of seismic hazard, which involve precise building restrictions for constructions and anthropic structures. Together with the Civil Protection Office, intervention plans have been laid out in case of particularly severe seismic events.
Seismic monitoring networks in many countries worldwide are, or should be, in constant contact with each other, so as to establish an efficient connecting and warning network. Often these warning systems are efficient, as for example in the case of the tsunami monitoring and warning system for the Pacific, while in other cases coordination is very difficult, as it was dramatically seen in the events that took place in December 2004. The recent earthquake in the same area instead, showed, how with a minor level of cooperation and a minor financial commitment it was possible to warn the populations of the entire area of the risk of a tsunami. The fact that subsequently, this time, whimsical nature did not create a “killer wave”, surely must not be an invitation to stand off-guard!

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