The area around the southern Italian city of Naples was shaken by an earthquake early this morning. The National Institute of Geophysics and Volcanology (INGV) gave the magnitude 4.2 and located the epicenter in the Phlegraean Fields.
According to initial findings from the Italian Civil Defense, there were no injuries or major damage. Many media outlets reported that many people in the area ran out into the streets in fear during the tremors.
The Phlegraean Fields, an area of high volcanic activity in the Campania region of southern Italy, have been hit by many small earthquakes for some time. In August alone, 1,118 tremors were recorded around Europe's largest active supervolcano.
Most of the time, however, it is small and barely noticeable tremors that weaken the earth's crust over the Phlegraean Fields. Researchers repeatedly warn about this phenomenon. The area has been on a yellow alert level for eleven years, calling for caution.
The INGV said there had been increasing rumblings beneath the surface of the earth since Monday evening. However, the earthquake at around 3:35 a.m. was the strongest in a long time and frightened many people. "The bed moved, paintings and objects on the wardrobe fell down, everything danced. This time it was very strong," wrote a user on Facebook.
Pictures showed how frightened people had gathered on the streets. Train services to and from Naples were suspended for several hours and schools in the town of Pozzuoli were to remain closed on Wednesday.