At the school of earthquakes and volcanoes, doors open at the Institute of Geophysics and Volcanology

Learning the “words” of the Earth by playing with science and researchers: around 1,000 students and a few hundred visitors were involved in the fourth edition of the Seismic Literacy Day, the “words” of the Earth, organized on 13 January by the of Geophysics and Volcanology (Ingv) opening the doors in its 8 offices and organizing about 50 activities to involve the public of all ages with exhibitions, educational workshops and guided tours. “Days like these are important because citizens don’t know the Earth enough,” said Carlo Doglioni, president of Ingv. “Having a different relationship with our planet means knowing how to defend ourselves – he continued – above all means having a different conception of what lies beneath us which in fact governs all our activities”.

Fourth edition

Now in its fourth edition, Earthquake Literacy Day was created to stimulate greater awareness and develop a culture attentive to prevention and did so with events in the various INGV offices in Italy which were open to schools and numerous initiatives for the public. From educational workshops for children such as Mareopoli in the Rome office or the Memory in the Lerici (SP) office up to an exhibition of the fleet of drones used to monitor volcanoes, at the Rocca di Papa office, to the reopening to the general public of the most ancient scientific laboratory for the study of volcanoes, the Vesuvius Observatory founded in 1841 by King Ferdinand II of Bourbon in Herculaneum. «This institution – said Mauro Di Vito, director of the Vesuvius observatory of Naples of the Ingv – was born with the aim of studying volcanoes, Vesuvius in particular, with innovative instruments for the time and with the aim of learning to predict eruptions. Today it is still an active observatory that monitors Vesuvius 24 hours a day but it is also a place that collects a large amount of materials from the historical, cultural and scientific heritage».

The success of the initiative

Great public participation, with all activities sold out. “It’s been about 10 years – said Stefano Branca, director of the Ingv Etna Observatory of Catania – that we have increased our dissemination activities to respond to the constant requests especially from schools, so much so that we even have difficulty managing them and we have colleagues who now only deal with disclosure”. «Italy is a seismic nation, where there are 10 active volcanoes – added the president of Ingv, Doglioni – which has a wonderful environment but which must be protected and from which we too must protect ourselves. But we can do it only and simply if we know about it». It is no coincidence that the Day was set for January 13, to commemorate the disastrous seismic event of magnitude 7.0 in Abruzzo, which in 1915 struck the Marsica area, in particular the Avezzano area, causing the death of over 30 thousand people.

At the school of earthquakes and volcanoes, doors open at the Institute of Geophysics and Volcanology