According to a recent survey conducted by CRESME-ANCE (National Association of Builders), the damage caused by natural hazards related to the Italian territory (earthquakes, landslides and floods) from 2010 to date is € 20.5 billion, including 13.3 billion quantified for the earthquake in Emilia Romagna. Expanding to the period 1944-2012, the total cost amounted to 242.5 billion euro, 3.5 billion a year. 75% of the total (181 billion) is due to earthquakes, the remaining 25% (61.5 billion) is to be charged to hydrogeological disasters. Moreover, there are estimates of the damage caused or foreseeable by natural disasters originated in the underwater environment, whose study is just starting both nationally and internationally.
Among its priorities Horizon 2020 addresses the major concerns shared by European citizens and aims at improving resilience, leading to an increase in the welfare of the individual and the safety of society.
The goal of OGS in this field is to help prevent and reduce the damage and loss of lives through increased knowledge of natural phenomena, especially earthquakes, ocean floor hazard (submarine geo-hazards) and landslides, and their consequences and a strengthening of its technological infrastructure of measurement and control.
The Natural hazards theme has obvious advantages for the safety of society, with the monitoring of natural seismic activity, the control of seismic activity induced by human activities, and the seismic qualification of sites, that is how they respond to the stresses of an earthquake. In addition, the geodetic monitoring also offers a precision real-time positioning service that is offered free of charge to professionals in the NE of Italy.
The activities of OGS in this field have applications and implications for economy, as the activities of seismic micro-zoning for urban spatial planning, the seismic monitoring of industrial plants or the support offered to the anti-seismic design.
The knowledge of the hazard in the underwater environment allows for proper planning of the use of seas and oceans in compliance with the EU Green Paper document "Towards a future maritime policy for the Union: a European vision of the oceans and seas". It has also important applications for the design and the implementation of engineering works such as submarine cables for the supply of electric power, telecommunication cables, pipelines and foundations of off-shore structures.
Land-deformation monitoring allows better planning and design for damage mitigation at the local level for small municipalities in the mountain environment.