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Instituto de Investigação
em Vulcanologia e Avaliação de Riscos
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Referência Bibliográfica

GASPAR, J.L., FERREIRA, T., QUEIROZ, G., CUNHA, A. (2004) - The relations between scientists and the civil protection authorities during crises management at the Azores archipelago. IAVCEI General Assembly, Pucon, México, November (Comunicação Oral).


The Azores archipelago is composed by nine volcanic islands and is located in a geological setting characterized by high levels of seismicity, volcanic eruptions, permanent gas emissions and landslides. Since the settlement of the archipelago, in the 15th century, thousands of people died in the region and important damages were recorded.
Civil protection at the Azores comprises two distinct levels: a regional level, that is coordinated by the Serviço Regional de Protecção Civil e Bombeiros dos Açores (SRPCBA) and a local level which responsibility lies on the 19 municipalities that represent the main administrative divisions of the archipelago. Emergency planning is performed at both levels.
The SRPCBA headquarter is located at Terceira Island and its structure includes central services dedicated to operational tasks, emergency planning, risk assessment and mitigation. Civil protection delegates exist in all the other islands and the fire brigades are the main operational corps of the whole structure. At the local level each municipality has a civil protection service (SMPC) with a structure, dimension and composition that vary.
The WOVO members Azores University and Meteorological Institute are responsible for the seismo-volcanic monitoring of the Azores region giving scientific and technical advice to the SRPCBA. The effective collaboration among all these teams contributed to minimize the crisis management problems faced during recent geological events, such as the 1997 S. Miguel Island landslides, the 1998 Faial Island earthquake and the 1998-2001 submarine volcanic eruption W of Terceira Island.