Quakes Near Europe's Biggest 'Supervolcano' in Italy Are Prompting Evacuation Plans

The supervolcano is reportedly inching towards a possible eruption.

Since it's better to be safe than sorry—especially when the historical track record is not so great—Italy is officially making evacuation plans for the possible future eruption of the Campi Flegrei supervolcano, which is located roughly 12 miles outside of Naples.

That the volcano is inching towards a possible eruption (the first one since 1538) isn't a new development. The volcano, the crust of which is reportedly weakening, has been experiencing small earthquakes for a while now, and as Thrillist previously reported, in April alone it counted more than 600 quakes. In the last month, the number of earthquakes spiked to 1,100.

While scientists claim that the eruption is "not at all guaranteed" and while this isn't the first time the volcano has teased a potential outburst, the Italian government announced this week it is choosing to be careful and make evacuation plans. Just in case, lest the Pompeii disaster be repeated!

According to officials, the mass evacuation would affect tens of thousands of people living around the volcanic area, Euronews reports. If you include all the nearby towns, the combined population that would be impacted surpasses half a million.

The plan also calls for new precautionary measures, including checking the strength of buildings after all the aforementioned small earthquakes. Per the Italian government, such measures would be discussed at a cabinet meeting. Additionally, Civil Protection Minister Nello Musumeci said that further resources are expected to be directed towards the local civil protection (so that it can better assist in case of an emergency) and to fund an awareness campaign.

However, there's no need to stress for now. On top of the eruption not being certain at all, people living in the area shouldn't worry about being evacuated anytime soon. According to Musumeci, evacuations would only happen in the event of "extreme necessity."

If an eruption did happen, people would be immediately evacuated outside of the area via either private or public transport within three days.

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Serena Tara is a Staff Writer on the News team at Thrillist. She will beg you not to put pineapple on pizza. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram.