The extraordinary beauty of Italy has, unfortunately, to reckon with a land that often shows its fragility. This is reflected by the numerous landslides and frequent flooding that affects numerous areas of our country.
From north to south, there is actually no province which can say it is immune from the possibility that its land, and above all its people, can be hit by a landslide or flood. ù
The government wants to focus on change through focused initiatives.
As well as concrete work carried out in Italy, to change the approach to emergencies you have to all get together and think in terms of prevention: that is the real challenge that awaits us.
Because of this, #Italiasicura, against hydro-geological instability has been created to create equipment and water networks which can align our country to European standards and equip it with a mission structure to redevelop school buildings. This is aimed at coordinating state intervention which follow the specific financing lines from different Ministries or Departments, as well as making the monitoring of the local land accessible.
The group's media support the government information campaign, through special sections, videos and interviews.
Space is also given to #Italiasicura on FS Italiane's social media, in La Freccia magazine and on the on-board screens on the Frecciarossa trains.
Rete Ferroviaria Italiana, the national infrastructure manager, is in the front line in working to prevent hydro-geological instability in the areas and zones which affect track, thanks to the constant monitoring of sensitive points.
It has also organised to act quickly and efficiently in the case of calamitous events.
There are around 2,900 points on the railway network which are affected by events of this type.
Around 6,400 kilometres of the line are included in the areas listed by the Autorità di Bacino (Basin Authority) and by the Istituto Superiore per la Protezione e la Ricerca Ambientale (Higher Institute for Protection and Environmental Research, ISPRA). Of these, 2,000 are potentially at risk from landslides and floods.
Because of the increase over the past few years in the impact and frequency of incidents of hydro-geological instability, RFI has set down an Management/Mitigation Intervention Plan, which sets priorities through risk analysis that takes account both of the size of the event and how quickly it is evolving, and also of the extent of the damage, estimated in terms of rail activity.
In 2014 the first section of the Plan was launched, which envisaged intervention work which could immediately start by this year for an amount totalling around 130 million euros and in 2015 for a total of around 120 million.
Running parallel to this, procedures are in place in all the regional headquarters for extraordinary vigilance of rail infrastructure which may be affected by meteorological events which are especially intense and hydro-geologically critical or critical from a water point of view, and which are reported by Civil Protection groups. Also, Rete Ferroviaria Italiana uses a dedicated weather alert and weather forecast system to continually check the effects of atmospheric events on the whole network.
Prevention of instability and the protection of railway lines also uses the research and experimentation of new technologies. Given the technical complexity of managing the phenomenon and the enormous areas involved, many of which are not owned by RFI, this is carried out in collaboration with the Centro di Ricerca per la Previsione, Prevenzione e Controllo dei Rischi Geologici (Research Centre for Forecasting, Preventing and Controlling Geological Risks, CERI) at La Sapienza University in Rome.