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Index – Science – If an Italian volcano ever erupted, half a million people could be in imminent danger

Index – Science – If an Italian volcano ever erupted, half a million people could be in imminent danger

Based on his name, many people may not know him, but in the near future we may hear more about the Campi Flegrei volcano located in the Pozzuoli Bay near Naples, which according to experts is in a critical condition, that is, it can erupt at any moment.

Although the volcano is much smaller than Vesuvius, which is also located nearby, half a million people live in the immediate vicinity of the area, also known as the Flegrei field in Hungary, who may be in immediate danger due to the danger of an eruption, writes the Watchman.

Campi Flegrei (Phelegrei Fields) is less known than Vesuvius, but very dangerous

– said Stefano Carlino, co-author of the study.

Vesuvius wiped Pompeii off the map nearly 2,000 years ago, while the massive Campi Flegrei volcanic region near Naples last spewed lava and ash in 1538.

However, Campi Flegrei should not be taken lightly – according to experts, eruptions 30,000 years ago may have contributed to the extinction of the Neanderthals.

At first glance, it may seem less dangerous than it is, because instead of the typical peak shape, Campi Flegrei is a more elongated depression 12-14 km in diameter whose activity led to the evacuation of 40,000 inhabitants in the early 1980s, but the volcano has been relatively quiet since That moment.

The researchers warned that they do not want to panic about the possibility of an eruption, but given the current results, it is likely to happen soon.

We are not saying there will be an eruption, but the current conditions are more suitable for an eruption

said Christopher Kilburn of University College London.

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The pressure is increasing, half a million people live in the red

The researchers’ fears are far from unfounded, because tens of thousands of small earthquakes since the 1950s have weakened the caldera, the basin at the top of the volcano, which may be close to erupting.

the Nature, earth and environment connections “Some parts of the volcano have stretched almost to the breaking point,” said a report published in the magazine on Friday.

In addition, the number of earthquakes in the region has been increasing since 2019, while the pressure under the surface continues to increase. Earthquakes and ground uplift are cumulative, which means that volcanic activity does not need to intensify for an eruption to become more likely.

A potential eruption may precede relatively weak signals, such as a slight surge and small earthquakes

Study authors’ warning.

All this is really worrying for the authorities, because nearly five hundred thousand people live in the area designated by the Italian civil protection authorities as a red zone – the most dangerous area. Another 800,000 people live in the yellow zone, which has a lower risk rating.

In preparation for the worst-case scenario, the authorities have already prepared an evacuation plan, during which all residents will be evacuated from the site by their own means or by public transport within three days, if something goes wrong. The risk level – green, yellow, orange and red – is reviewed monthly.

Pozzuoli’s Alert Level is currently yellow

Council spokeswoman Giordana Mobilio said local residents are being alerted for every tremor of magnitude 1.5 or higher.