A massive Italian volcano is at a “critical stage” in the build-up to a devastating eruption, scientists have warned.
They say the Phlegraean Fields supervolcano, known in its native Italy as Campi Flegrei, could blow sooner than predicted.
Located outside the western suburbs of Naples, a blast could affect 360,000 people living across the caldera and Naples’ population of nearly one million.
The last eruption took place in 1538 but the area has been restless since 1950, with regular earthquakes since.
But now experts from Vesuvius Observatory in Naples and University College London have spotted magma swelling beneath the crust – similar to what happened before the blast some 500 years ago.
A recent study which was published in Nature said their findings “raise[s] concern that volcanic activity might be imminent.”
Christopher Kilburn, Director of the UCL Hazard Center, said: “By studying how the ground is cracking and moving at Campi Flegrei, we think it may be approaching a critical stage where further unrest will increase the possibility of an
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