Earthquake tremors hit Naples area 'strongest in 40 years'

  ROME -- Earthquake tremors of up to 4.4 magnitude n the Richter scale hit the Phlegraean Fields area near Naples on Monday evening, according to reports from the National Institute of Geophysics and Volcanology (INGV). 

  The earthquake has caused minor damages in several villages in the area, with evacuations expected in Pozzuoli and Bacoli. The strongest shock was felt at 8.10 p.m. with a magnitude of 4.4, the strongest tremor in 40 years. At 7.51 pm another earthquake tremor of 3.5 was felt, followed by a tremor of 3.9 at 9.46 p.m.. IVGN located the epicentre of the strongest tremor in the municipality of Pozzuoli.  

  The fire brigade received multiple reports of cracks and some structural collapses, with over 40 fire brigade interventions and several building inspections. 

  “We ask you to keep calm,” urged Gigi Manzoni, the Mayor of Pozzuoli, “we are receiving several reports from both the Civil Protections and the municipal police, but the lines are overloaded.”

  Mayor of Bacoli, Josi Gerardo Della Ragione, published his personal telephone number on Facebook, inviting his citizens to contact him “at any hour” in case of an emergency. “We are here, with you, to tackle each problem, and we will be here all night.” 

 “I leave you the numbers to call in case of emergencies. You can also write to me on WhatsApp at any time. I urge you to share this information with friends, relatives and, neighbours. I am here, we are here.”

  The Minister for Civil Protection, Nello Musmeci, met with the head of the Civil Protection Department in Rome to organise aid and an operational committee. 

  “The earthquake felt in the Phlegraean Fields continues to create understandable worry among residents. I have already contacted the Prefect of Naples and the Mayor of Pozzuoli to ascertain any damage to persons on property,” explained Musmeci, “I am in constant contact with our head of department Fabrizio Curcio who is chairing the work of the specially convened operational committee.”