Volcano in Naples threatens to erupt and could affect over 360,000 lives
SUPERVOLCANO – Campi Flegrei, is at a critical stage and scientists have warned that European authorities need to be ready – as experts fear the lives of more than 360,000 people across Europe could be at risk.
Campi Flegrei, located around 11 miles (18 kilometres) southwest of Naples, Italy, has not erupted since 1538, but volcano experts believe it could be building up to another devastating eruption.
Scientists from the University College London (UCL) and the Vesuvius Observatory in Naples have been studying the patterns of unrest since Campi Flegrei’s last eruption more than 500 years ago.
They concluded that the volcano may be “closer to an eruption than previously thought” and was instead “approaching a critical stage”.
Dr Christopher Kilburn, director of the UCL Hazard Centre, said: “By studying how the ground is cracking and moving at Campi Flegrei, we think it may be approaching a critical stage where further unrest will increase the possibility of an eruption, and it’s imperative that the authorities are prepared for this.
“We don’t know when or if this long-term unrest will lead to an eruption, but Campi Flegrei is following a trend we’ve seen when testing our model on other volcanoes, including Rabaul in Papua New Guinea, El Hierro in the Canary Islands, and Soufriere Hills on Montserrat in the Caribbean.”
He added: “We are getting closer to forecasting eruptions at volcanoes that have been quiet for generations by using detailed physical models to understand how the preceding unrest develops.”
Photo by John McLinden