Flood Marche, Italy overdue on the public alarm system. It had to be active by June, it would have warned citizens with a text message

Flood Marche, Italy overdue on the public alarm system. It had to be active by June, it would have warned citizens with a text message
Flood Marche, Italy overdue on the public alarm system. It had to be active by June, it would have warned citizens with a text message
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Nando he was trapped in the house, on the first floor. Joseph and his son Andrew they were unable to escape from the garage where they had gotten out to try to save the cars. Noemi she was swept away by water and mud after she climbed inside machine with his mother Brunella, still among the missing. In all they are at the moment eleven the confirmed victims offlood in Marche. For some it could have gone differently if the national public warning system IT-alertas required by a European directive? In case of imminent emergencies or ongoing disasters, the service would allow you to send alarm messages on mobile phones of the citizens present in the risk area. The problem denounced by the mayors of the municipalities of the Marche affected by the flood, that is, of not having been warned of the real entity of the danger but to have received only the communication of an alert “yellow”: IT-alert messages would reach citizens in direct waywithout any intermediation of their statutory auditors.

Public warning system not yet operational – Unlike other European countries, however, the system still exists in Italy on an experimental basisdespite the fact that in recent years the extreme weather events that put people’s lives at risk. And despite the European directive n. 1972 of 11 December 2018 stared at the June 21, 2022 as date for the entry into operation of that system. “By 21 June 2022 – in fact, Article 110 reads – Member States shall ensure that, when public alarm systems are established in the event of serious emergencies and imminent or ongoing disasters, the providers of mobile interpersonal communication services based on number transmit public alerts to the end users concerned ”. But in Italy the system has not yet been used in real emergency cases, as the Marche flood demonstrates. It was instead used last April in the course of an exercise on the island of Volcanowhere it was simulated a rash and IT-alert was tested for the first time.

In the aftermath of the test, the Deputy Head of Civil Protection, Tweety Postillionhe said in an interview with Republic: “It is not true that we will not respect the deadline set by Europe, June 21, to equip itself with a public alarm system. We we are online, we have technology that works. IT-Alert is operational, on an experimental basis. We don’t have a full national test yet. But in theoretical lineif the day after tomorrow we were to raise a public alarm for an accident at a nuclear power plant near our borders, we could do it“. In theory, because in reality the system is not operational and the other night, in the areas affected by the flood, it was not launched no alarm public via mobile.

Italy’s delays – Why is IT-Alert coming into operation late? To the question posed by ilfattoquotidiano.itthe Civil Protection responds: “At present it has already been built the infrastructure which allows the execution of tests concerning the technological implementation, the sending and receiving of messages in various formats, the analysis of feedback regarding the reaction to the reception, the understanding of the text and the maximization of communicative effectiveness. Currently the experimentation continues to ensure compliance with the required requirements in the perimeter of cyber national security and to delete any vulnerability residuals. For these reasons, IT-alert remains, at the moment, in an experimental state “. Unlike us, the alarm system is in other European countries it already works, even in cases of real emergency. In Francefor example, FR-alert was activated it last June, by the date provided for by the directive, as stated on the institutional website www.service-public.fr. In Holland a national cellular alarm system has been in operation since about ten years.

There is no doubt that there have been delays in Italy, given that in September 2018one year afterflood in Livorno and three months before the entry into force of the European directive, the then head of Civil Protection Angelo Borrelli announced in this newspaper the birth of an alert system centralized to send communications to people based on their geographical location: “I hope it becomes reality as soon as possible, within a year or two“. Years have passed since then four.

Bureaucratic steps and critical issues to be solved – After the European directive at the end of 2018, the public alarm system is mentioned for the first time in an Italian standard in law decree n. 32 deApril 18, 2019which plans to use “cell broadcasting”, a technology that allows “the diffusion of messages to all terminals present within a specific geographical area identified by the mobile radio coverage of one or more cells “. The subsequent decree no. 110 of the President of the Council of Ministers of June 19, 2020 establishes a Technical committee coordinated by the Civil Protection which is in charge of monitoring and updating the IT-alert operating modes and establishes that the service enters a experimental phase from the beginning of October 2020.

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Of October 2020 is also a directive of the President of the Council that defines the types messages to be sent to citizens’ cell phones (alert, danger, emergency, test or exercise messages) and provides that the experimentation lasts 24 months. The overrun of the deadline of 21 June 2022 is thus put in black and white. Especially since the directive of Palazzo Chigi establishes that at the end of the 24 months of experimentation, if they will be necessary actions correctivethe IT-alert service will operate for another six months in a transitional regime, in order to allow the necessary adjustments after which it will become definitively operational.

At the moment the system is still to run in. According to what we read on the official website www.it-alert.itstill remain to be overcome “three macro-critical issueswhich today prevent the safe, clear and responsible use of the system that we had imagined to make operational: the safety of the technological infrastructure, the scope of operation of the public alarm system and the definition of the governance of the system”.

@gigi_gno


The article is in Italian

Tags: Flood Marche Italy overdue public alarm system active June warned citizens text message

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