A high speed earthquake response system in the Romania-Bulgaria border region
An early warning response system that can alert the authorities to an imminent earthquake in 4.5 seconds has been developed. The system can help avoid natural disasters caused by earthquakes by promptly shutting down critical infrastructure like nuclear power plants, elevators and trains.
" The DACEA project has increased the region's resilence to natural disasters generated by strong and deep Vrancea earthquakes. The early warning system in place is helping vulnerable areas to react to and recover from such hazards in a timely and efficient manner. "
The “Danube Cross-border system for Earthquakes Alert” or DACEA project has established joint management systems to protect the cross-border area's natural assets. It has also raised awareness of both environmental protection and management in the region. Crucially, the involved partners have set up emergency response services that are now serving both sides of the river Danube, in real time.
Detect, monitor and record
To achieve the above, an assessment of the seismic risk via various studies was performed in key locations across the cross-border area. Following the assessment, 16 seismic stations to detect, monitor and record earthquakes were then installed in vulnerable locations in both countries.
In addition, the emergency authorities from Romania and Bulgaria were provided with the necessary seismic monitoring technology allowing them to receive real time information on potential threats. These emergency teams also received vital emergency preparedness training.
A pioneer project for Europe
The early warning system developed under DACEA, which is in daily use, is the first of its kind in Europe and can be used by other countries affected by seismic activity.
The DACEA project won the European Commission's coveted European IST Prize in 2006. The ceremony took place in Vienna on 22 March 2006 in the presence of Austria's then Federal President Dr Heinz Fischer and former European Commissioner Viviane Reding, among other high level dignitaries.
The project also took first place in the “projects competition” in the framework of the Romania-Bulgaria Cross-Border Cooperation Programme 2007-2013.
The Romania-Bulgaria border region traditionally has a high level of seismic activity and it is predicted that major earthquakes will occur in future years, adding to the importance of this project for the area and its people.
Total investment and EU funding
Total investment for the project extension of the “Danube Cross-border system for Earthquakes Alert
(DACEA)” project is EUR 5 706 096 of which the EU’s European Regional Development Fund is contributing EUR 741 792 from the Operational Programme “Romania-Bulgaria” for the 2007 to 2013 programming period.