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Low-magnitude earthquake near Naples sends scared locals onto streets

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Rome, April 14 (DPA/IANS) The area surrounding the southern Italian city of Naples and Mount Vesuvius was shaken by an earthquake on Sunday morning, the National Institute of Geophysics and Volcanology (INGV) said, putting the magnitude at a low level of 3.7.

As has often been the case in recent months, the epicentre was said to be in Italy's large volcanic region of the Phlegraean Fields, west of Naples.

There were initially no reports of casualties, and the fire brigade reported no major damage. However, the earthquake and subsequent weaker tremors were clearly felt in several areas of Naples and the surrounding area.

Parts of Italy are all too familiar with earthquakes, which often prove deadly, and several media reported that many people were frightened and took to the streets in panic.

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.

Mostly, however, these are small and barely noticeable tremors that weaken the earth's crust in the area. Researchers have repeatedly warned of this phenomenon. For 11 years, the area has been on yellow alert, which calls for caution.

--DPA/IANS

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