Scientists have voiced their concern over the supervolcano on Europe’s edge of an explosive eruption.
Campi Flegrei is a volcano located near Pozzuoli, in the south of Italy.
Campi Flegrei has been dormant since around 1538 – when it last spewed lava, rocks, and ash.
The eruption of the volcano nearly 30,000-years ago is thought to have been responsible for the extinction and disappearance of Neanderthals.
According to a recent study, scientists are now concerned that the supervolcano could soon erupt again.
The findings, published in the journal Communications Earth & Environment, found that the volcano is extremely dangerous.
“A rupturing sequence has been developing across four episodes of ground uplift at Italy’s Campi Flegrei caldera: in 1950-1952, 1969-1972, 1982-1984, and since 2004,” the study read.
“We predicted in 2016 that the approach to rupture would continue after an additional uplift of 30-40 cm at the location of the largest movement… subsequent events have confirmed our prediction and that [earthquakes have] been changing the structure of Campi Flegrei’s crust,” it continued.
Since the 1950s, there have been thousands of minor earthquakes which has weakened the area at the summit of the volcano.
The Guardian reports that this is a very bad situation, especially since around a half-million people reside in the immediate area of the volcano. reported.
“We’re not saying there will be an eruption, we are saying that the conditions for an eruption are more favorable,” Christopher Kilburn from University College London told AFP.
The study found that “parts” of the volcanic crater were stretched to the breaking point.
“An eventual eruption could be preceded by relatively weak signals, such as a smaller rate of ground uplift and fewer earthquakes,” one of the study’s authors told the Guardian.
Thankfully, there is a low probability that a large eruption will occur, Stefano Carlino, co-author of the study, told AFP.
Carlino noted that there is still a possibility of smaller eruptions.
The speaker said, “We don’t know what the future holds. But we can prepare for anything.”
The alert level is monitored every month and there are plans for evacuation in case the volcano erupts.
“The alert level in Pozzuoli is currently yellow,” council spokesperson Giordana Mobilio told AFP.
She also said locals are notified of all tremors that have a magnitude greater than 1.5.
Campi Flegrei, also known as Vesuvius in Pompeii, is only 56 minutes from Campi Flegrei.