Campi Flegrei - areial view shaowing the calderas nad surrounding towns.

Campi Flegrei rocked by 4.4 magnitude earthquake

By Region News Southern Italy

Campi Flegrei, located in Italy’s southern Campania near Naples, experienced a 4.4 magnitude earthquake on Monday evening. Schools in the Campi Flegrei area will be closed on Tuesday due to the recent surge in seismic activity.

The earthquake, part of an ongoing “seismic storm,” had its epicentre near Pozzuoli, according to the National Institute of Geophysics and Volcanology (INGV). Occurring at 20:10 at a depth of three kilometres, it was the strongest quake in the Campi Flegrei area in the past 40 years.

Image shwing cluster of earthquakes on 20th May in the Campi Flegrei

The quake caused minor structural damage in Pozzuoli and prompted residents to flee into the streets, with many spending the night in their cars. INGV recorded over 150 tremors in five hours on Monday night (as shown in the image above). They included a 3.5 magnitude earthquake at 19:59 and a 3.9 magnitude earthquake at 21:46, INGV reported.

As a precaution, local authorities have ordered the closure of schools in Pozzuoli, Bacoli, Quarto, Monte di Procida, and parts of Naples.

Campi Flegrei experiencing significant seismic activity

The Phlegraean Fields, a regional park for 20 years, is a highly seismic area. Composed of supervolcanic calderas west of Naples, it is about 50 kilometres from Mount Vesuvius.

The Campi Flegrei volcano last erupted in 1538, the area has experienced frequent earthquakes since 1950, with significant seismic activity in the early 1980s. Experts attribute the recent seismic increase to bradyseism, a phenomenon involving the gradual uplift or descent of the earth’s surface due to the movement of underground magma or hydrothermal activity.

Data showing magnitude, depth and location of Campi Flegrei earthquakes on 20th May 2024.

The Campi Flegrei area encompasses 15 towns with a combined population of over half a million people living in the high-risk ‘red zone.’ In response to the increased seismic activity, the Italian government recently updated emergency plans for potential mass evacuations.

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