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    The supervolcano near Naples is causing concern. A documentary from Switzerland now shows shocking animations. Italy’s Volcano Institute intervenes.

    Naples – The earth has been shaking repeatedly in the south of Italy in recent months. In most cases, it is not the volcano Vesuvius that is of particular concern, but rather the nearby so-called supervolcano, which is located on the Phlegraean Fields. The fear of one enormous catastrophe in the inhabited area is great. Just now the earth shook 90 times in just one day. In this situation, in which many Italians and tourists are concerned about the volcano, a documentary is now causing a stir.

    “An RSI documentary terrifies the general public,” writes the Italian The Republic to the film. The documentary entitled “Naples, the supervolcano that threatens Europe” was produced by Italian-language Swiss radio and television. And it strikes a hugely alarmist note. “The supervolcano could leave Naples no chance. Even threatening Europe,” the film says. There is also talk of “devastating consequences” and loud Republic Warned that there was “hardly any possibility of escape”.

    View across the Gulf of Naples to Mount Vesuvius. © IMAGO / Bridgeman Images

    Supervolcano worries Italy: Swiss documentary causes horror

    The film uses computer animations to illustrate a possible eruption of the volcano beneath the Phlegraean Fields. “The catastrophe could strike us at any moment,” it says at the start. In the apocalyptic animation, a destructive ash cloud moves over Naples, rocks hit the city’s sights, animated cracks run through shots of the city – all of this accompanied by dramatic music. This depiction of a possible volcanic catastrophe is paired with expert statements.

    The volcanologist Patrick Allard says that if there were a large-scale eruption, large columns of ash would be created. These would rise for several kilometers – into the stratosphere. The ash would rain down on Naples, Italy’s south and possibly far away. This would involve human sacrifice and massive destruction. The documentation also raises doubts about the authorities’ evacuation plan in the event of a disaster. Diego Perugini, director of the physics and geology department at the University of Perugia, says in the film that an eruption may be predicted too late. The eruption could then occur within tens of minutes. “30 minutes is not enough time to evacuate a city,” the documentary says afterwards.

    “The probability of something happening in the immediate future is small – but not zero,” is the conclusion at the end of the film.

    Supervolcano in Italy about to erupt? Institute contradicts representation

    The documentation has been in circulation since the beginning of April and is causing concern Italy for great excitement. So big that Italy’s National Institute of Geophysics and Volcanology (INGV) is forced to contradict the depiction. And this despite the fact that the INGV itself has its say in the documentation as an expert. “This is information that is not based on data and that completely ignores all the important scientific and planning activities that scientists and civil protection have seen and are still seeing,” quotes the The Republica the INGV. The documentation simply summarizes what happened during the volcano’s largest eruptions thousands of years ago and thus creates “big effects”.

    The volcano is permanently covered by a multi-parameter monitoring system: It is true that the Phlegraean Fields have been affected by the so-called bradyseismic phenomenon (slowly occurring large-scale ground deformations) since 2005, which leads to earthquakes, tremors and fumarolic emissions. But: “All the data provided by this system currently shows no evidence of an impending volcanic eruption, let alone a larger-scale volcanic eruption,” the INGV continued in its clarification.

    View photo series

    The conclusion of the institute’s volcano experts: “The history of the eruption and the current data recorded at the Phlegraean Fields tell a different story.” Nevertheless, the concern in Italy is very real. One The community is now even building a new evacuation road. (rist)

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