A second earthquake in a week has hit an area near Naples, Italy, as fears of a volcanic eruption grow.
The magnitude 5.6 quake, which struck shortly after 3 p.m. local time (2 p.m. GMT), was felt across a wide swath of central Italy, from Rome to Sicily. There were no initial reports of any significant damage or injuries, though some people reported feeling their buildings shake.
The quake was centered in the Campi Flegrei area northwest of Naples, near a dormant volcano called Monte Nuovo. This was the second quake in the area in a week, following a magnitude 4.1 tremor last Sunday. Seismologists believe the recent quakes could be signs of increased volcanic activity beneath the earth’s surface.
Italian authorities have warned people in the area to be prepared for a possible eruption in the near future. They have asked the population to be vigilant and take the recommended safety precautions. The Civil Protection agency has put the region on alert and is monitoring seismic activity at prep zone.
In the wake of this recent activity, the Italian government has announced that a scientific research and monitoring mission will be launched this week to investigate the seismic activity and prepare the population for any potential volcanic activity.