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“Red Alert”: Italian Supervolcano May Erupt “Soon”

Posted by feww on May 16, 2017

Italy’s supervolcano at “critical stage” of eruption: “volcanic activity might be imminent”

Campi Flegrei, Italy’s only supervolcano, could erupt sooner than previously predicted, researchers say, immediately affecting more than three million people who live in the Naples area.

The volcano last erupted in 1538 but it has been restless since 1950, with local seismicity and ground uplift recorded in the 1950s, 1970s and 1980s, similar to a 100-year long episode that lead  to the last eruption.

More than 26,000 micro-earthquakes, or volcano-tectonic (VT) events, have occurred across the central zone of the caldera during the current unrest, researchers say.

“The current unrest is consistent with a reactivation of the magmatic system after 412 years and, hence, with an increase in the threat from volcanic activity to the caldera’s population of almost 360,000 people, as well as to the three million residents of Naples immediately outside its eastern margin.”

Ground movements of about 3m, the largest recorded since Roman times, have occurred since 1950.

“At Campi Flegrei itself, an additional obstacle to effective warning is a low public awareness of volcanic hazard compared with the perceived threat from microseismicity. The persistent VT seismicity in 1983–1984 damaged buildings throughout Pozzuoli and triggered the evacuation of some 40,000 people.”

They have published their findings in the nature Communications.


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