Pompeii Supervolcano, Across the Bay of Naples from Pompeii, where thousands were incinerated by Mount Vesuvius in AD 79, lies a hidden “super volcano” that could kill millions in a catastrophe many times worse, scientists say.
The boiling mud and sulphurous steam holes of the area west of Naples known as the Campi Flegrei or Phlegraean Fields, from the Greek word for burning, are a major tourist attraction. But the zone of intense seismic activity, which the ancients thought was the entrance to hell, also could pose a danger of global proportions with millions of people living on top of a potential future volcanic eruption.
Scientists plan to drill 3.5 kilometres below the surface to monitor the huge chamber of molten rock near Pompeii and give early warning of any eruption from a 13-km-wide collapsed volcanic caldera.
The Campi Flegrei are similar to the Yellowstone caldera Wyoming but of more concern because they are in an area populated by about three million people. “That is why the Campi Flegrei absolutely must be studied and monitored said Giuseppe De Natale, head of the drilling project.