Naples Hit by Strongest Earthquake in Decades, Citizens Panic

People rushed into the streets on Monday night, May 20th, as a volcano caldera in Naples, Italy, produced the worst tremors in decades.

A single earthquake measuring 4.4 on the Richter scale was detected at a depth of 1.6 miles just after 8 in the evening, according to the National Institute of Geophysics and Volcanology (INGV). Dozens of aftershocks followed.

Amateur video showed bottles scattered over the floor of a grocery store, and emergency services in the region reported fractures and chunks falling from buildings.

Between Monday night and just after midnight on Tuesday, the caldera, known as around 150 earthquakes, shook the Campi Flegrei. Other seismic occurrences of comparable intensity are possible, and the INGV has said that it will monitor the caldera.

The confluence of tectonic plates and the closeness of important fault lines make Italy a seismically active area.

The Campanian volcanic arc, a segment of the larger Mediterranean seismic belt that forms at the point of convergence and subduction of the Eurasian and African tectonic plates, is located near Naples.

The earthquake swarm is the strongest one in the last forty years.

The town’s schools were closed on Tuesday, and Mayor Luigi Manzoni revealed on social media that temporary shelters had been set up to accommodate worried citizens.

There is a lot of seismic activity in the vast volcanic region west of Naples, known as the Campi Flegrei caldera, which is caused by the flow of magma and subsurface water.

Located within Pozzuoli and Naples, the Campi Flegrei is near the more famous Mount Vesuvius to the east.

A revival of activity caused by gasses generated by magma has made the Campi Flegrei a source of worry to both inhabitants and scientists. The last eruption occurred 40,000 years ago.

According to a resident of Pozzuoli who spoke to state media, they are always frightened and wondering how much longer these structures can withstand the force of these earthquakes.