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The Tsunami Alert Centre of the National Institute of Geophysics and Volcanology (CAT-INGV) was created with the aim of contributing to mitigating the risk due to tsunamis induced by earthquakes on the Italian and Mediterranean coasts. The main tasks of the CAT-INGV are two: the alert in case of earthquakes potentially capable of generating tsunamis and the studies required to define on a probabilistic basis the danger from tsunamis for the Italian coasts, starting from those of seismic origin (Seismic Probabilistic Tsunami Hazard Analysis, SPTHA).

Early warning is based on a very simple principle: seismic waves travel through the crust at a much higher speed than tsunami waves. Monitoring seismic events which occur at sea or in areas of land near the sea allows to record and analyse seismic waves, assessing in real time whether an earthquake with epicentre in the sea or in the immediate vicinity of the coast can generate a tsunami.

The monitoring activities of the Tsunami Alert Centre of the INGV (Cat-INGV) are carried out by a group of researchers, technologists and technicians from different disciplines (seismology, physics, computer science) which operates 24 hours a day and collects, records, processes and analyses earthquake data, estimates their parameters, calculates the time of arrival on the coast, monitors sea level data.

If the event has characteristics compatible with a tsunami, the CAT-INGV activates the alert procedures of the National Civil Protection System and notifies the alert to the other Member States. The Civil Protection Department has the task of disseminating the alert messages by the CAT-INGV to the structures and components of the National Civil Protection Service (Regional operation rooms, prefectures, municipalities) in order to reach the potentially affected population in the shortest possible time.

The quality of the monitoring and alert services is certified according to internationally defined standards and, following a two-year audit, the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of UNESCO has accredited the CAT-INGV as a Tsunami Service Provider for the North Atlantic, Mediterranean and related basins region.

The CAT-INGV is one of the few alert centres which combines monitoring services with intensive high-level scientific research on the causes of tsunamis, on the dangers of these phenomena and on the actual and potential effects they can generate.

The activities of the CAT-INGV are coordinated by a manager and by a Steering Committee (Cd CAT), appointed by the Board of Directors of the INGV in 2017.

The head of the CAT-INGV is Alessandro Amato.

The Steering Committee consists of the following members

  • Pro tempore Director of the National Earthquake Observatory: Salvatore Stramondo
  • Data Quality Coordinator: Francesco Mariano Mele
  • Tsunami Alert Development Coordinator: Alessio Piatanesi
  • Tsunami Danger Assessment Coordinator: Jacopo Selva
  • International Relations Coordinator: Stefano Lorito
  • IT Functional Unit Responsible of ONT: Stefano Pintore

The following researchers and IT experts participate in the activities of the CAT-INGV:

  • Roberto Basili
  • Fabrizio Bernardi
  • Andrea Bono
  • Beatriz Brizuela
  • Andrea Cerase
  • Lorenzo Cugliari
  • Alex Garcia
  • Laura Graziani
  • Valentino Lauciani
  • Maria Concetta Lorenzino
  • Fabrizio Romano
  • Matteo Taroni
  • Roberto Tonini
  • Manuela Volpe

The following researchers, technicians and IT experts participate in the seismic room shift to ensure the 24/7 alert service:

 
Akinci Aybige Calderoni Giovanna  Del Bello Elisabetta Latorre Diana Moretti Milena Smedile Alessandra
Alfonsi Laura Castellano Corrado Di Mauro Domenico Lisi Arianna Pagliuca Nicola Soldati Gaia
Anselmi Mario  Castello Barbara Di Stefano Raffaele  Lombardi AnnaMaria Pezzo Giuseppe Spagnuolo Elena
Antonioli Andrea  Ciaccio Maria Grazia Esposito Alessandra Lombardo Valerio Pezzopane Michael Tolomei Cristiano
Anzidei Marco  Cheloni Daniele Falcucci Emanuela  Lozzi Giulio  Piatanesi Alessio Tonini Roberto
Atzori Simone Cianchini Gianfranco Frepoli Alberto Magnoni Federica  Pietrantonio Grazia Tozzi Roberta
Avallone Antonio Cinti Daniele Galvani Alessandro Marchetti Alessandro  Pizzino Luca Trasatti Elisa
Baccheschi Paola  Cirella Antonella Gasparini Andrea Mariano Sofia  Procesi Monia Valoroso Luisa
Bernardi Fabrizio Civico Riccardo  Gori Stefano Mariucci Maria Teresa  Romano Fabrizio Villani Fabio 
Buttinelli Mauro Colini Laura Govoni Aladino Materni Valerio Roselli Roselli Pamela  Voltattorni Nunzia
Cantucci Barbara Cucci Luigi Graziani Laura Misiti Valeria  Sciarra Alessandra  
Casarotti Emanuele D’Addezio Giuliana Improta Luigi Modica Giorgio  Scognamiglio Laura