The Campi Flegrei are a volcanic complex located in Campania a few kilometers from Naples. It is one of the largest volcanoes in the world, with a magma chamber that extends underground over an area of approximately 40 square kilometres. This volcano, also known as a super volcano, poses a potential threat to the population of the region and requires the adoption of prevention and civil protection measures in case of an emergency.
But what are super volcanoes and why are they so worrying? Super volcanoes are volcanoes with an exceptionally large caldera, which can extend for tens of kilometres. These volcanoes are capable of producing volcanic eruptions much more powerful than those of normal volcanoes, with potentially catastrophic consequences for the population and the surrounding environment.
The Campi Flegrei pose a particular threat to the Campania region, as the volcano’s magma chamber is filling up with new magma, as evidenced by the recent earthquakes in the area. This phenomenon could indicate that the volcano is entering a phase of increased activity, which could culminate in a volcanic eruption.
Volcanic eruptions of Campi Flegrei have been documented since ancient times, with some very powerful ones having a significant impact on the surrounding region. The last major volcanic eruption of Campi Flegrei dates back to the 17th century, when the eruption of Monte Nuovo caused the death of some people and the destruction of some homes.
To prevent the risk of a new volcanic eruption of Campi Flegrei, the Italian authorities have developed a national civil protection plan in case of emergency. The plan provides for the division of the area surrounding the volcano into different zones, based on the risk of damage and proximity to the volcano.
The red zone is the highest risk area, which extends up to 3 kilometers from the volcano’s crater. In this area, evacuation is mandatory in the event of a volcanic eruption, and local authorities are required to provide immediate assistance to the population. The yellow zone is the moderate risk area, which extends up to 6 kilometers from the crater. In this area, evacuation is not mandatory, but is strongly recommended. Finally, the green zone is the lowest risk area, extending up to 12 kilometers from the crater.
The national civil protection plan in the event of an emergency also provides for the definition of emergency plans for each area, with the identification of assembly points and escape routes. Local authorities are required to inform the population about the volcanic situation, emergency plans and the behavior to adopt in the event of a volcanic eruption.
But civil prevention and protection measures are not sufficient to guarantee the safety of the population. It is also important to invest in the safety of infrastructure and homes in the region, in order to reduce the risk of human loss and material damage in the event of a volcanic eruption.
Furthermore, scientific research on the volcanic activity of Campi Flegrei is of fundamental importance to prevent the risk of a new eruption. Scholars are constantly monitoring the volcanic activity of the volcano in order to accurately predict the possibility of an eruption and to implement the necessary measures to protect the population and infrastructure.
Despite the risks associated with the volcanic activity of Campi Flegrei, the volcano also represents an important resource for the Campania region. The presence of the volcano has in fact favored the formation of a soil rich in nutrients, which has allowed the development of a rich agriculture in the region. Furthermore, the volcano also represents a source of geothermal energy, which could be exploited for the production of clean energy.
In conclusion, the Campi Flegrei represent a potential threat to the population of the Campania region, but also an important resource for the economic and social development of the region. To guarantee maximum safety for the population, it is necessary to adopt prevention and civil protection measures, invest in the safety of infrastructures and homes, and promote scientific research on the volcanic activity of the volcano. Only in this way will it be possible to reduce the risks associated with the volcanic activity of the Campi Flegrei and guarantee maximum safety for the population of the Campania region.