By John Ensor •
Published: 08 Sep 2023 • 13:05
Image of seismograph.
Credit: Andrey VP/Shutterstock.com
YESTERDAY, the Italian city of Naples was shaken by the strongest earthquake in 10 years.
On Thursday, September 7, a significant tremor, registering at 3.8 magnitude, jolted Naples, causing widespread alarm. This Italian earthquake, the most potent in the region over the past ten years, prompted many residents, especially those in neighbourhoods like Posillipo, Fuorigrotta, and Vomero, to flee their homes in fear, according to La Stampa.
‘The attention of seismologists and volcanologists on what is happening is constant,’ assured Giovanni Macedonio, a renowned volcanologist at the National Institute of Geophysics and Vulcanology. ‘To date, it is not giving us indications of sudden changes compared to the trend observed the last ten years.’ Since 2012, the area near Naples has experienced ground uplift, often accompanied by earthquakes, usually less severe than the recent one.
Despite its strength and shallow depth of about two kilometres, the recent tremor didn’t cause any structural damage, as confirmed by the Civil Protection Department. However, the emotional toll on the residents is evident. ‘There is continuous attention on the Naples region,’ the volcanologist emphasised. ‘We have a yellow alert in place, ensuring continuous scientific monitoring, 24 hours a day, by both Ingv and the Vesuvius Observatory.’
Between 1983 and 1984, the region near Naples underwent a period of rapid ground uplift, accompanied by a staggering 16,000 earthquakes in just two years, though most were minor. After a quiet phase, the ground started rising again in 2012, but at a more gradual pace. This movement has been paired with earthquakes both inland and offshore.
‘In recent weeks, we’ve seen an uplift of about 1.5 centimetres per month, and the frequency of earthquakes is increasing,’ the expert shared. In the coming days, efforts will be intensified to determine if these seismic activities are linked to underground fluid movements.
Monitoring will involve GPS, satellites, and analysing the flow, temperature, and chemical composition of underground gases. ‘We aim to understand if the uplift process is accelerating and ensure the safety of our residents,’ he concluded.
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Originally from Doncaster, Yorkshire, John now lives in Galicia, Northern Spain with his wife Nina.
He is passionate about news, music, cycling and animals.
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