ladbible logo

To make sure you never miss out on your favourite NEW stories, we're happy to send you some reminders

Click 'OK' then 'Allow' to enable notifications

Scientists are getting worried about a volcano in Italy and people should be ‘prepared’

Scientists are getting worried about a volcano in Italy and people should be ‘prepared’

Campi Flegrei, near Naples, Italy could erupt following more than 1,100 earthquakes in the area in the past month

Campi Flegrei has been showing increasing signs of restlessness lately, with the Italian Government planning for a possible mass evacuation of people living around the supervolcano.

Campi Flegrei (Phlegraean Fields) has a total population of more than 500,000 people and sits west of the city of Naples.

It's a broad region of super volcanic calderas — depressions that form after a volcano erupts and collapses — and is much bigger than nearby Vesuvius, which engulfed Pompeii in AD79.

In 1983, 40,000 people were temporarily evacuated from the city of Pozzuoli after a burst of earthquakes hit the area.

Now, 40 years later, more than 1,100 earthquakes have been recorded under the east side of the caldera in the past month, including a 4.0 magnitude quake on 2 October and a 4.2 on 27 September.

More than 1,100 earthquakes have been recorded in the Campi Flegrei area in the past month.
Getty Stock Image

This has led to the Italian government and local authorities planning for a potential eruption.

Measures to check the strength of local buildings following the earthquakes were discussed at a cabinet meeting last Thursday.

The cabinet are also expected to provide local civil protection agencies with additional resources to ensure they can intervene quickly if the volcano were to erupt.

The recent surge of earthquakes has likely been caused by a phenomenon called bradyseism, scientists say.

This refers to the occurrence of slow vertical ground movements, caused by the filling or emptying of an underground magma chamber.

According to experts, there is no immediate threat of eruption, however the volcano is currently on yellow alert — two levels from the highest alert status —meaning people should keep an eye on seismic activity and be prepared for potential evacuation.

Italy's civil protection minister, Nello Musumeci, said that evacuations of the area would only be triggered in cases of 'extreme necessity.'

There is no doubt, however, that people are worried, with local media reporting that local authorities were running evacuation drills to make sure they were prepared for stronger earthquakes or volcanic eruptions.

The volcano is currently on yellow alert status, meaning people should be prepared for potential evacuation.
Wiki Commons

It's been 485 years since Campi Flegrei last erupted in 1538. The eruption buried parts of surrounding villages and created a whole new mountain called Monte Nuovo.

One of the volcano's biggest eruptions, however, took place 39,000 years ago and has been credited by some scientists and historians with leading to the extinction of the Neanderthal man.

Scientists do say that if there is an eruption, it's more likely to be on the scale of the 1538 event rather than that mammoth eruption.

And that's really lucky because, if a supervolano erupts like that, it could cause a global winter and lead to food shortages across the world.

Fingers crossed, I guess...

Featured Image Credit: Getty Stock Image/Wiki Commons

Topics: News, Science, World News, Environment