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Schools and factories closed in Italy after earthquake “swarm” near Naples | Earthquake news

Schools and factories closed in Italy after earthquake “swarm” near Naples |  Earthquake news

 


The region in southern Italy experienced an “earthquake swarm” overnight, with around 150 earthquakes recorded.

Authorities evacuated 39 families near the Italian city of Naples and closed schools after a wave of earthquakes caused panic, but no casualties were reported.

A 4.4-magnitude earthquake was recorded shortly after 8:00 pm (18:00 GMT) on Monday evening at a depth of 2.5 kilometers (1.6 miles), according to the National Institute of Geophysics and Volcanology (INGV).

It was part of what the institute described as an overnight “earthquake swarm” in which about 150 earthquakes were recorded.

“This is the strongest seismic swarm in the last 40 years,” said Mauro De Vito of the institute.

Some residents of the city of Pozzuoli, near Naples, rushed to leave their homes and into the street after the tremors that occurred on Monday evening, which the mayor of the local city said on Tuesday that lunchtime was still continuing.

About 80 people slept overnight in a hastily constructed shelter in a sports hall, while several reception points – including tents, toilets and makeshift cots – were set up for those afraid to return home.

Seismic activity is nothing new in Pozzuoli, located in the Campi Flegrei (Flegrai Fields), the largest active caldera in Europe – the hollow left after the volcanic eruption.

But many of the 500,000 residents living in the danger zone were hit by a 4.2-magnitude earthquake last September.

An employee at a pizzeria in central Pozzuoli told AFP: “We were very afraid, even though people are used to it.”

Some residents protested what they saw as the lack of preventive measures by authorities, including checking how well buildings could withstand a greater shock.

“My shop was never inspected,” said Nila Aprea, 55, another hairdresser in Pozzuoli.

“Action plans have been put in place but there are not enough resources yet.”

Residents gather near a makeshift camp after earthquakes in Pozzuoli, Italy [Ciro Fusco/ANSA via AFP]

Emergency services reported cracks and falling pieces of buildings after the quakes, and inspections were ordered at a wide range of sites.

The Civil Protection Department said that 39 families were evacuated from 13 buildings.

Schools in Pozzuoli were also closed for inspection, along with 18 factories, a municipal cemetery and a fish market, according to Pozzuoli mayor Gigi Manzoni.

About 140 inmates were transferred from the city's women's prison to other institutions while the damage to the prison was examined.

“How long will the buildings be able to hold up? [there are] All these shocks? “This is what we are wondering,” one resident told Rai News TV.

A Pozzuoli resident sits next to her baby's stroller not far from a makeshift camp in the city [Ciro Fusco/ANSA via AFP]

Naples Mayor Gaetano Manfredi said on Tuesday that the situation was “under control,” adding that “there is no risk of a volcanic eruption.”

But he warned that the situation could continue for “months.”

He said: “It is very important to live with this phenomenon and try to maintain normal life.”

The eruption of Campi Flegrei 40,000 years ago was the most powerful in the Mediterranean.

Renewed seismic activity in the early 1980s led to a mass evacuation that turned Pozzuoli into a ghost town.

However, specialists say a full eruption in the near future is still unlikely.

The INGV noted on Tuesday that in the 1980s there were more than 1,300 seismic events per month and that hydrothermal activity caused the ground to rise by 9 cm (3.5 inches) per month.

In contrast, about 450 seismic events were recorded in the past month and the uplift velocity has remained constant at 2 cm (0.8 in) per month.

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2/ https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2024/5/21/italy-schools-factories-closed-after-quake-swarm-near-naples

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