Strongest Earthquake In 40 Yrs Hit Italy’s Naples; Instills Fears Of Possible Volcanic Eruption

by Tejashee Kashyap
Strongest Earthquake In 40 Yrs Hit Italy’s Naples; Instills Fears Of Possible Volcanic Eruption

Volcanoes following earthquakes are not an uncommon occurrence, particularly in regions with active tectonic plate boundaries like Italy. According to Italy’s National Institute of Geophysics and Volcanology, an earthquake struck south of Naples, Italy, on Tuesday, just days after the volcanic region had its biggest earthquake in 40 years. Concerns are growing about the possibility of an eruption in a vast volcanic area near Naples.

Second Earthquake Instills Volcano Fears

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Earthquakes occur frequently as tectonic plates interact. When this stress is released suddenly, it can result in earthquakes, which are often the precursors to volcanic activity.

The earthquake caused minor damage to buildings, according to Italy’s fire department, but no one was wounded. The September 27 4.2 magnitude earthquake shook the region and was felt as far away as Rome. Campi Flegrei, commonly known as the Phlegraean fields, is a 39,000-year-old volcanic landscape that includes several ancient volcanoes. Emergency officials in Italy are preparing plans after the largest earthquake in 40 years struck Naples, raising fears of more volcanic activity.

Seismic activity on Campi Flegrei has increased in recent months. More than 80 events occurred in the early hours of Wednesday morning, the largest of which was a 4.2 magnitude quake.

The place experiences bradyseism, a seismic phenomenon characterised by cycles of ground lifting and gradual sinking. The last big eruption of Campi Flegrei occurred in 1538, resulting in the formation of a new mountain in the harbour.  It has recorded 2,868 earthquakes so far in 2023, including 1,118 in August alone.

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About Campi Flegrei

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Campi Flegrei is home to at least 360,000 people spread throughout seven of the most vulnerable urban areas, including a portion of Naples. The INGV has suggested that the municipality of Naples evacuate some individuals living near the volcanic area. The majority of the structures under concern were constructed during the last 20 years.

The connection between earthquakes and volcanic eruptions is not limited to historical events. It continues to be observed in modern times. Italy, known for its stunning landscapes and rich history, is also home to several active volcanoes. This includes Mount Vesuvius, Mount Etna, and Stromboli.

Now, the unfolding of the recent events has instilled a sense of awe and fear in the inhabitants of this beautiful country.

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