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Authors: Ricci, T.*
Barberi, F.*
Davis, M. S.*
Isaia, R.*
Nave, R.*
Title: Volcanic risk perception in the Campi Flegrei area
Title of journal: Journal of volcanology and geothermal research
Series/Report no.: /254(2013)
Publisher: Elsevier Science Limited
Issue Date: 15-Mar-2013
DOI: 10.1016/j.jvolgeores.2013.01.002
Keywords: Volcanic risk perception
Campi Flegrei Caldera
Public awareness
Emergency plan
Abstract: The Campi Flegrei which includes part of the city of Naples, is an active volcanic system; its last eruption occurred in 1538 AD. More recently two significant crises occurred between 1969 and 72 and 1982–84 and were accompanied by ground movements (bradyseism) and seismic activity, forcing people of the town of Pozzuoli to be evacuated. Since 1984 development of a volcanic emergency plan has been underway. In 2000 Civil Protection published a risk map which defined the Red Zone, an area highly at risk from pyroclastic flows, which would need to be evacuated before an eruption. The first study to evaluate the volcanic risk perceptions of the people living within the Campi Flegrei area was completed in spring 2006, resulting in the largest sample ever studied on this topic except for one on Vesuvio area residents by Barberi et al. (2008). A 46 item questionnaire was distributed to 2000 of the approximately 300,000 residents of the Campi Flegrei Red Zone, which includes three towns and four neighborhoods within the city of Naples. A total of 1161 questionnaires were returned, for an overall response rate of 58%. Surveys were distributed to junior high and high school students, as well as to adult members of the general population. Results indicated that unlike issues such as crime, traffic, trash, and unemployment, volcanic hazards are not spontaneously mentioned as a major problem facing their community. However, when asked specific questions about volcanic risks, respondents believe that an eruption is likely and could have serious consequences for themselves and their communities and they are quite worried about the threat. Considering the events of 1969–72 and 1982–84, it was not surprising that respondents indicated earthquakes and ground deformations as more serious threats than eruptive phenomena. Of significant importance is that only 17% of the sample knows about the existence of the Emergency Plan, announced in 2001, and 65% said that they have not received enough information about the possible effects of an eruption. In addition, residents' sense of community was significantly positively correlated with both confidence in local authorities and Civil Protection as well as residents' feelings of self efficacy regarding their ability to protect themselves from a potential eruption. These results indicate that most residents of Campi Flegrei, while aware of the volcanic threat posed by Vesuvio, are not familiar with more local volcanic hazards in their area. This, coupled with little knowledge about the Emergency Plan and the very low level of information residents have about the effects of a possible eruption, suggests that authorities, in collaboration with the scientific community, should direct their efforts to better educate and inform the population about volcanic hazards and the Emergency Plan, and that such efforts could be facilitated by trying to encourage stronger community bonds.
Appears in Collections:04.08.08. Volcanic risk
Papers Published / Papers in press

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