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A seismic storm hits the giant Campi Flegrei volcano in Italy with the strongest earthquake in 40 years

A seismic storm hits the giant Campi Flegrei volcano in Italy with the strongest earthquake in 40 years



A 4.4-magnitude earthquake struck the giant Campi Flegrei volcano in Italy on Monday evening, causing minor damage in the town of Pozzuoli, the quake's epicenter, and in the city of Naples, about 20 kilometers (12 miles) away, according to Italy's National Earthquake Institute. Geophysics and Volcanology (INGV).

An Italian fire brigade spokesperson confirmed to CNN that cracks in the walls and fallen cornices were reported.

The 4.4-magnitude quake at a depth of 3 kilometers is the strongest earthquake to hit the highly seismic region in the past 40 years, according to INGV data. The quake is part of an ongoing “seismic storm” that has seen more than a dozen events greater than magnitude 2.0 in the past 48 hours.

The 4.4-magnitude earthquake at 8:10 p.m. local time was preceded by a 3.5-magnitude earthquake an hour earlier.

INGV recorded 1,252 earthquakes in the Campi Flegrei area in April 2024, most of them with a magnitude of less than 1.0.

The last major eruption of the giant volcano was in 1538, creating a new gulf on the southern coast of Italy. The INGV has observed an increase in seismic activity since 2022, which may be due to the buildup of subsurface magma or the buildup of gases, according to several volcanologists.

The volcano is located about 50 kilometers (31 miles) from Mount Vesuvius, and is subject to a phenomenon known as bradyism, during which the ground rises and falls due to subsurface pressure. The last major cycle was in 1984, but several volcanologists told CNN that the region is experiencing a new cycle of the phenomenon.

More than 500,000 people live in the red zone directly adjacent to Campi Flegrei, according to the Italian Civil Protection Agency, which this year is working to update evacuation plans in the event of a major disaster.




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