Supervolcano on brink of eruption for first time in 500 years as evac plans made

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    Plans are being drawn up to evacuate tens of thousands of people living in fear of a supervolcano looking like its about to erupt.

    Campi Flegrei near the Naples region of Italy is made up of 24 craters and huge underwater volcanos, with the last mass eruption thought to have happened around 18,000 years ago. However, since 2022, volcanic activity has increased, as have earthquakes, with the strongest in 40 years taking place in September this year, peaking at 4.2 in magnitude.

    Another 4.0 quake happened on October 2, with experts now worried about the supervolcano exploding. Nobody has actually given a solid prediction about when or if the supervolcano could erupt, however, but plans to evacuate are leading many in the area to panic about what the future could hold for it.

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    Civil Protection Minister Nello Musumeci said that evacuations would only happen in cases of “extreme necessity”, but confirmed that plans had been drawn up in case it does happen. It was reported in April that 600 earthquakes took place just that month, with local man Francesco Cammarota explaining: “Some days there are more than one. It’s frightening, especially at night. One day it will just go off.”

    And Mauro Antonio Di Vito, the directory of the Vesuvius Observatory warned of the real dangers should the worst happen. He said: “These areas have been urbanised without considering the fragility. Buildings need to be better structured and we need a cultural change to really encourage people to do this.”

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    And Observator researcher Stefano Carlino added: “It's the same for all volcanoes that have been quiet for generations. Campi Flegrei may settle into a new routine of gently rising and subsiding, as seen at similar volcanoes around the world, or simply return to rest. We can't yet say for sure what will happen. The important point is to be prepared for all outcomes.”

    A smaller eruption did take place in 1538, lasting from September to October. It is thought that a super eruption around 40,000 years ago actually helped to cause the extinction of Neanderthals.

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