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Civil Protection Map of Catalonia



Pursuant to Law 4/1997, of May 20, on the civil protection of Catalonia, and in the specific context of hazard prevention activities (Articles 4 and 12), the Directorate General of Civil Protection, which in accordance with Decree 243/2007, of November 6, on the structure of the Department of the Interior, Institutional Relations and Participation, shall exercise management of the Catalan civil protection system, has created the Civil Protection Map of Catalonia, and shall perform the duties necessary for its promotion, maintenance and updates.

Introduction [PDF, 57,7 KB.]


The figure of the Civil Protection Map of Catalonia is described in Article 12 of Law 4/1997, of May 20, on the Civil Protection of Catalonia, which establishes the need for the Government to create and approve it as an element that expresses " the different territorial areas where each hazard is present".

The Civil Protection Map of Catalonia is a cartographic tool in which hazard information is presented in a georeferenced manner. Its main objective is to provide an overview of the hazards that could affect the territory of Catalonia and provide this information to the various public administrations and citizens in general. Therefore, the Civil Protection Map of Catalonia is a technical strategic element that is essential for the development of the Catalan civil protection system, given that, as a tool for compilation of georeferenced information on the civil protection hazards, it sets out a framework for knowledge and dissemination of those hazards to society.

At present, the cartographic information on the hazards taken up in the Civil Protection Map of Catalonia is related to emergency planning and hazard prevention. Furthermore, the current version of the Civil Protection Map of Catalonia does not define any new hazard planning or prevention criterias. Rather, it contains those already existing and established.

Objectives [PDF, 84,9 KB.]



The territorial scope of the Civil Protection Map of Catalonia is the entire Catalan territory, considering that it intends to provide an overarching, common and unitary perspective of civil protection hazards. In any event, depending on the specific characteristics of a given hazard, its territorial scope could be limited to just one part of the territory, based on the analytical results of that specific hazard.

Conceptual: hazards

On another note, the Civil Protection Map of Catalonia is conceptually circumscribed to the realm of civil protection hazards in first instance. Further, consideration must also be given to those hazards that, despite not being strictly from the conceptual and competency realm of civil protection, could have a direct or indirect impact on the civil protection hazards or the situations or emergencies that these could generate.


Based on the regulations in force and the established distribution of competencies, the approval of the Civil Protection Map of Catalonia shall be the duty of the Autonomous Catalan Government. Responsibility for its development, promotion and maintenance shall correspond to the Directorate General for Civil Protection. In any event, the corporate scope of the Civil Protection Map of Catalonia extends to other organizations in accordance with their competencies in the overall Catalan civil protection system:

  • Bodies of the public administration that make up the Catalan civil protection system.
  • Private civil protection services.
  • Bodies of the public administration with sectoral competencies over the hazards.
  • Bodies of the public administration with town planning and territorial organization competencies.
  • Bodies of the public administration with environmental competencies.
  • Public or private organizations and companies that could face or generate hazards, in accordance with the terms of the regulations in force for emergency plans (Decree 82/2010, of June 29, approving the catalog of activities and centers required to implement emergency planning measures, and establishing the content of these measures).
  • Universities, schools and public or private institutions linked to the dissemination of civil protection risks.

Scope [PDF, 84,7 KB.]

Civil protection hazards


A hazard is defined as the damages or losses that can be expected (deaths, injuries, material damage, environmental damage, economic losses, etc.) as a consequence of a phenomenon that could affect persons, property or the environment and with relation to a given area and a specific interval or period of time. The hazard is made up of three concepts: danger, vulnerability and exposure. Although there is not an official classification, but rather different proposals, hazards can be classified in accordance with the following parameters:

  • whether there is a capacity to impact large social groups,
  • immediate or deferred effects (temporal evolution of the effects and resilience) and
  • origin of the hazard.

Pursuant to the foregoing classification, civil protection hazards are those risks that can affect large social groups (collective or severe hazards) and that have immediate effects (episodic or sporadic risks), either with their origin in the natural environment (geophysical and biological hazards included) or society (including technological, collective transport, in buildings or anthropic). In the framework of civil protection, and whenever necessary, this also includes collective risks that have effects in the mid and long-term (such as certain environmental risks, i.e. climate change).

Hazards of the Civil Protection Map of Catalonia

  • Special hazards (pursuant to the civil protection regulations).
  • Seismic hazard.
  • Forest fire hazard.
  • Snow hazard.
  • Flooding hazard.
  • Accidental sea water contamination hazard.
  • Hazardous goods transport by highway or railway.
  • Hazards in industrial establishments that handle hazardous substances.
  • Nuclear hazard.
  • Aeronautical hazard.
  • Avalanche hazard.
  • Radiological hazard.
  • Special hazards (pursuant to the civil protection regulations).
  • Hazards in passenger transport by rail.
  • Hazards in fixed conduits for hazardous substance transport.
  • Basic hazards (territorial civil protection criterion).

Civil protection hazards [PDF, 171 KB.]

Descriptive specification of the hazards

Georeferenced information

The information linked to the hazards on the Civil Protection Map of Catalonia has a basic structure common to all hazards, and a variable section, so that the georeferenced information could vary depending on the hazard.

  • Common basic section: municipal planning criterion.

For each hazard, the cartographic information on the identification of the municipalities associated with the hazard is identified. This information is described through planning criteria (obligation / recommendation) but also, and especially in the case of absence of this criterion, through the identification of municipalities where hazard-generating elements are located.

  • Variable section: hazard and vulnerability.

For certain risks, zonal information is available. In other words, the emergency planning areas that result from calculating the consequences of risk analysis. In any event, the zonal information is greater than the municipal information, as it decouples cartographic information from the local administrative organization.

Descriptive specification of the hazards in the Descriptive Report

The Descriptive Report of the Civil Protection Map of Catalonia includes content on the descriptive specification of the risks through the following sections:

  • Introduction: description of the risk and references; brief introductory description of the hazard referring to certain hazardous elements such as vulnerability.
  • Description of hazard index: brief discussion on the index used for the quantification, classification and management or the risk.
  • Description of the map development methodology: indication of the method used for the risk index calculation.
  • General description of the map and affected municipalities: brief reference to the explanatory parameters of the map of the specific risk and distribution of the affected municipalities.
  • Description of the prevention information: when necessary, discussion of the methodology and results of the map regarding the criteria defined to supervise the implementation of new vulnerable elements compatible with hazard management, from the standpoint of possible emergencies and the application of the emergency planning measures by the population.


Municipal emergency planning criteria

The Civil Protection Map of Catalonia, and the report describing it, include the municipal emergency planning criteria, developed pursuant to the terms of the various emergency plans of the Autonomous Government of Catalonia (Generalitat) now in force, which are:

  • Territorial Civil Protection Plan of Catalonia, PROCICAT.
  • Action Plan of PROCICAT for rail passenger transport emergencies.
  • Special flooding hazard emergency plan, INUNCAT.
  • Special snow hazard emergency plan, NEUCAT.
  • Special forest fire hazard emergency plan, INFOCAT.
  • Special earthquake hazard emergency plan, SISMICAT.
  • Special dangerous goods road and rail transport accident emergency plan, TRANSCAT.
  • Special emergency plan for severe risk of accident in facilities that handle hazardous substances, PLASEQCAT.
  • Special accidental sea water contamination hazard emergency plan, CAMCAT.
  • Special aeronautical emergency plan, AEROCAT.
  • Special avalanche hazard emergency plan, ALLAUCAT.
  • Special radiological hazard emergency plan, RADCAT.

The criteria are defined pursuant to operational details, and more specifically, as a function of the affectation of the population, and protection measures to apply. The affectation and the protection measures are directly derived from the risk analysis incorporated in the aforementioned plans.

The criteria are set by the municipalities that must develop a municipal emergency plan for a certain hazard (Municipal Action Plan - MAP) as well as the municipalities for which this specific planning is recommended.


Lists of municipal emergency planning obligations and recommendations for every risk

For every hazard, the Descriptive Report on the Civil Protection Map of Catalonia includes the list of municipalities for which the development of a Municipal Action Plan is mandatory, and those for which it is recommended, as well as the obligation or recommendation criteria. The same information can be accessed through the Civil Protection Map of Catalonia web viewer.


The territories and their risks

For every Catalan territory (Alt Pirineu i Aran, Barcelona, Catalunya Central, Girona, Lleida, Tarragona i Terres de l'Ebre), the Descriptive Report on the Civil Protection Map of Catalonia features the diverse forms of municipal affectation by each hazard. This affectation is shown through graphs featuring the percentage of municipalities for which creation of a Municipal Action Plan is required or recommended in the case of each hazard.

Furthermore, for every territory a percentage distribution of the municipalities is shown as regards their obligations to create a Municipal Action Plan and also depending on the number of obligations and recommendations.

The same information is presented for the Catalan territory in its entirety.


Compliance and validity of the municipal planning

For every hazard, the Descriptive Report of the Civil Protection Map of Catalonia features the percentage of the Municipal Action Plans developed of those for which it is mandatory, of those for which it is recommended and those that have developed plans voluntarily. The same percentage distribution is shown with regard to the validity of the plans; if they are not duly updated they expire four years after their initial development.


Legal grounds

Law 4/1997, of 20 May, on the civil protection of Catalonia, establishes the competencies of the civil protection system. Chapter II establishes the rights and obligations of the citizens, among them the right to information, and Chapter III establishes the basic activities of civil protection, including planning and prevention, and the Civil Protection Map as part of these activities:

  • Chapter II: Rights and Obligations

Article 4: Right to Information.

1. Citizens are entitled to be informed of the serious collective hazards that could affect them, and the public measures taken to handle them.

2. Anyone who could be affected by situations of serious hazardous situations must receive in-depth, accurate and effective information and instructions on the safety measures to be taken, and the steps to follow in case of emergency.

  • Chapter III: Basic civil protection activities.
  • Section one. Planning.

Article 12: The Civil Protection Map

1. The government must prepare and approve the Civil Protection Map of Catalonia within two years of this law's entry into force. The Map is a set of thematic maps which shows the different territorial areas in which each hazard is present.

2. The Civil Protection Map of Catalonia is created with the background information and studies of the competent bodies in the administrations for each hazard.

3. The Map must be regularly revised by the Autonomous Ministry of Governance. Parliament must be given information on it annually.

Basic regulations [PDF, 73,1 KB.]

Decree 243/2007

Decree 243/2007, of November 6, on the structure of the Department of the Interior, Institutional Relations and Participation.

Decree 243/2007 [PDF, 1,24 MB.]

Law 4/1997

Law 4/1997, of May 20, on the Civil Protection of Catalonia.

Law 4/1997 [PDF, 214 KB.]

Hazard viewer access

The hazard viewer offers the cartography of the various natural, technological or transportation hazards present throughout the territory of Catalonia.

The lower part of the viewer provides access to the different layers of available hazard data, which can be activated and deactivated. The legend can also be viewed, in addition to browsing help and the different tools presented by the viewer.

The browsers supported by the viewer are:

  • Internet explorer 7.0 or newer.
  • Safari 5.0 or newer.
  • Firefox 3.0.19 or newer.
  • Google Chrome 9.0 or newer.
  • Opera 10.0 or newer.


Connection to WMS services

The WMS (Web Map Server) is the standard in force of the Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC) for the dissemination of geographic information through the Internet. With the right geographic information processing programs, these servers facilitate the analysis and superposition of interdisciplinary information; in other words, the hazards and any other georeferenced information that follows the same standard.

To consult the Web Map Server for the various hazards, click on "Access to WMS metadata and data" which links back to the geoinformation catalog for the Spatial Data infrastructure of Catalonia (IDEC).

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