Hidralerta – an EWS for Ports and Coastal Zones

29 November 2023 by

In most disaster-prone regions, early warning systems (EWS) are an important tool for local authorities to detect emergency situations in advance and initiate the necessary safety measures. HIDRALERTA - a forecasting and early warning system for coastal flooding and ship berthing or mooring -is developed by the National Laboratory of Civil Engineering/Laboratório Nacional de Engenharia Civil (LNEC) for the C2IMPRESS project.

The HIDRALERTA system assesses and predicts, on a regular basis, the risk of coastal overtopping and consequent flooding and the risk to navigation, in particular regarding the safety of moored vessels. In the near future, HIDRALERTA will also include risk to manoeuvring ships and the risk of fluvial floodings. It allows the decision makers to schedule loading and unloading operations in ships, including passenger ships, as well as to define which measures have to be taken in order to protect people, equipment and structures, for example in storm situations.

The implementation of HIDRALERTA in a computer cluster (MEDUSA) makes it possible to run this system in a real-time mode (the numerical models run every day). Currently, HIDRALERTA needs approximately 1 hour to generate new forecast results for the next 72 hours.

Benefits for HIDRALERTA users include:

  • Enables risk assessment.
  • Prediction of emergency situations.
  • Prediction of moored vessel movements and mooring forces at specific locations in ports.
  • Prediction of overtopping and flooding events on coastal and port regions.

To know more about HIDRALERTA:

About LNEC:
LNEC is an independent and impartial Research and Development institute that contributes to the creation, development and dissemination of applied research in areas related to civil engineering, mostly the public works: dams, harbours, airfields, roads and railways infrastructures; buildings; housing and urban planning; water resources, coastline and environment; transport; and materials and components. With a strong focus on hydrological simulation and ecosystem analysis, LNEC is experienced in working with national and international executive agencies as well as first responders to floods and droughts. The organization works on social science and citizen engagement activities in close collaboration with stakeholders and citizens of several municipalities in Portugal.

In the C2IMPRESS Project, LNEC is the leader of the work package ‘Implementation and Validation at CSA (Case Study Area).’ The major contribution of LNEC in the project includes enhancement of weather forecasting and early warning systems and their validation; and analysis of multi-dimensional vulnerabilities and cost estimation of mitigating measures.

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