Status: 18.09.2023, 04:49 a.m.
By: Johannes Welte
The supervolcano of the Phlegraean Fields near Naples does not come to rest: Now the earth has shaken under the most famous crater, the Solfatara. Local residents have been making disturbing observations for weeks.
Pozzuoli - Hardly a day goes by without the earth trembling beneath the Phlegraean Fields between Naples and the volcanic island of Ischia in southern Italy. On Thursday, September 14, at 10:04 a.m., the seismographs of the Vesuvius Observatory registered an earthquake with a magnitude of 1.5 degrees, the epicenter of which was located under the ancient volcanic crater of Cigliano, north of Pozzuoli, at a depth of two kilometers.
Clouds of steam over the volcanic crater Solfatara. Here the earth shook again. © imago stock&people
The city of Pozzuoli stands on the volcano
On Tuesday night, there had already been an earthquake of magnitude 2.9. This time, too, it was felt as far as Naples as in the earthquake on 7 September. Although there was no damage, the inhabitants of the coastal town of Pozzuoli and its neighboring towns are extremely nervous. Because they live on a supervolcano that stretches from land to sea.
Tuesday's quake occurred at 4:28 a.m. at a depth of two kilometers and had its epicenter under the volcanic crater Solfatara, famous for its sulfur clouds, which tourists like to visit. "The seismic event finally woke up the citizens living in the area with a fright, who, according to witnesses, first felt a roar and then a movement," writes the portal vesuviolive.it.
Residents again report loud roaring
"For me, the roar was worse than the quake," writes a user of the Facebook group "Those from the red zone of the volcano of the Phlegraean Fields". On the east side of the Solfatara crater, residents are making disturbing observations at the volcanic mud pools of Pisciarelli, which are closed to tourists: For weeks, it has been bubbling and steaming particularly violently, as videos show.
"In some observations, geyser fountains of up to five meters in height and temperatures between 75 and 95 degrees Celsius were reported," reports a Facebook user. On older recordings about three years ago, only a slight bubbling can be seen.
Storms threaten in Germany: Two hurricanes rush towards Europe after summer heat
Calendar beginning of autumn: Will the clock be changed this weekend?
Cyclist drives child from behind – and wants 4500 euros in damages
Chaos on Greece flight: Austrian woman injured in the crowd – airline speaks out
Nipah virus in India: What symptoms have been known since the outbreak
Fancy a voyage of discovery?
House-high mud geysers and a drying harbor as alarm signals
In addition, the locals observe that the whole region is rising further and further out of the sea, the water level at the port is sinking as seen from land. On Facebook, a citizen of Pozzuoli calculates a level difference of 41 centimeters since August 2020. The phenomenon is called bradysismos. Lifting means that a magma chamber under the ground fills with lava.
The port of Pozzuoli rises more and more from the sea. © Facebook/Luigi Chiaiese
Increased volcanic activity is also observed in the sea: on the Via Napoli in Pozzuoli you can see from the shore how air bubbles rise in the sea. They are volcanic gases that work their way up through the increasingly brittle soil.
Although snorkelers and divers have been observing these fumaroles since time immemorial, they also appear more active on underwater images than they did a few years ago.
Italy's civil protection minister promises emergency plan
On Wednesday, Italy's Civil Protection Minister Nello Musumeci met at the Palazzo Chigi in Naples with the mayors of the Phlegraean municipalities and representatives of the National Institute of Geophysics and Volcanology and the National Civil Protection Department.
According to Musumeci, a plan to analyze the vulnerability of the territory, financed by the National Civil Protection, will be developed, as well as a communication plan for the population, which will also include the involvement of primary school students in the Phlegraean communities. In addition, the emergency plan with the escape routes is to be updated, and regular exercises are also planned to check the infrastructure network.
Meanwhile, an earthquake in Morocco caused thousands of deaths. Countless people are injured or destitute. The government apparently only wants to help itself.