PYRMOVE: managing the risk of landslides in the Pyrenees

The European PYRMOVE project aims to develop and implement cross-border tools for forecasting and managing the risk of landslides.
20 January 2021
Interreg POCTEFA logo, PYRMOVE project

Interreg POCTEFA logo, PYRMOVE project.

© POCTEFA Interreg

Landslide management is a major issue for the safety of people and property in the Pyrenees and for the economic stability of the municipalities in the area. Over the past 80 years, at least 150 people have died from landslides and the economic damage has exceeded 300 million euros.

Improving landslide emergency management

The aim of the PYRMOVE project, coordinated by the Polytechnic University of Barcelona (UPC) and, in France, involving BRGM and CEREMA (as well as RTM, the University of Pau and the Civil Protection Association as associated partners) is to develop and implement cross-border tools for forecasting and managing the risk of landslides.

These tools are developed to promote efficient emergency management, as for example in 2018 when a mudslide obstructed the access road to the Monts d'Olmes ski resort, trapping 2000 people and shutting down the resort, or such as the blocking of the Gourette departmental road also in 2018, or again in 2015 with the Gazost landslide that isolated a hamlet.

The tools will be used in several areas of the Pyrenees, both on the sub-regional and the local scale. They will guide optimised and harmonised management strategies that can be replicated on the scale of the Pyrenees.

This project will provide knowledge and will involve experiments on the landslides at Gourette, which damaged the departmental road and cut off access to the resort, and at Viella, which still threaten an entire village.

Action taken under the programme is divided into 3 areas:

  • understanding the hazards;
  • emergency management assistance;
  • information and communication.

The study area covers the entire Pyrenean mountain range. For France, the Occitanie and Nouvelle-Aquitaine regions are involved.

Role of BRGM

BRGM will contribute to the following main actions:

  • Summarising past events and conducting a retro-analysis of the conditions that triggered the landslides;
  • Examining the risks involved in 2 of the 3 major landslides studied: Gourette (Pyrénées-Atlantiques) and Viella (Hautes-Pyrénées), including a field assignment, satellite image processing and the use of instruments;
  • Proposing solutions to reduce risks through the development of monitoring and warning systems to promote preventive action with regard to the phenomena under consideration.

Funding and partners

This project was successfully selected in the last POCTEFA 2014-2020 call for projects for objective 5, focus area 2. The project is scheduled to run from 1 January 2020 to 31 May 2022. The total budget for the project with the partners is €2,010,576 for the eligible part.

The partners in this project are:

The Massif des Pyrénées police department is a financial partner of the project.

Link with the ADAPYR project

The PYRMOVE project deals with the operational aspects of emergency management in the event of incidents and access closures. The ADAPYR project handles the medium and long-term planning aspects with regard to global changes (climate, hazards, vulnerabilities, changes in demand in the tourist industry, etc.) in a context of uncertainty about the change variables being dealt with.