A Once-Devastating Supervolcano Might Be Waking Up

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Updated: | Originally published: ;

A volcanic area in Naples, Italy may be close to reawakening, according to new research—though scientists say there are no signs it will erupt soon.

The study, published in the journal Nature Communications, shows gases at the Campi Flegrei volcanic area may have reached a pressure level that signals volcanic unrest, a phase that precedes an eruption.

The volcano’s last major eruption in 1538 created the mountain known as Monte Nuovo, the Washington Post reports. While predicting the precise timing of a volcanic eruption is beyond the ability of current science, an eruption at any time at Campi Flegrei would wreck havoc on the area’s million inhabitants.

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Write to Justin Worland at justin.worland@time.com