A supervolcano near Naples is being rocked by persistent earthquakes. One of the volcano’s largest eruptions occurred 39,000 years ago, and may have led to the extinction of the Neanderthal.
Campi Flegrei is located just west of Naples and is built with several villages with a combined population of more than 500,000 people. The so-called caldera of the underlying supervolcano contains 24 different craters, it is a much larger volcano than the nearby Vesuvius, which destroyed the Roman city of Pompeii in the year 79.
The region has been shaken by more than 1,000 earthquakes in recent months, including the strongest quakes in 40 years. According to experts, this seismic activity is probably related to a cyclical phenomenon in which the ground is pushed up and down by the filling and emptying of underground magma chambers.
The last time the Campi Flegrei region was hit by a similar series of earthquakes was in the 1980s – when 40,000 people were temporarily evacuated from the village of Pozzuoli. The last eruption of the volcano took place in 1538.