A terrifying earthquake has hit a region in Naples less than 24 hours before Napoli were scheduled to play a Champions League game. The Serie A champions are due to take on Real Madrid on Tuesday night at the Stadio Diego Armando Maradona, but there will be concerns over the safety of players, staff and supporters after the terrifying incident occurred on Monday night.
The quake, which occurred shortly after 10pm in the volcanic region of Camp Flegrei, was measured at 4.0 on the Richter Scale. While the scale advises that such quakes are common, with around 10,000-15,000 occuring every year worldwide, it caused panic among local people who left their homes and fled to the streets.
Footage surfaced on social media of roof tiles smashing onto the floor in the town of Agnano, while frightened residents uploaded videos appearing to show the ground shaking at a violent rate. Fortunately, local authorities are yet to report any deaths or significant injuries.
The area of southern Italy has been rocked by tremors throughout the past few weeks, but this is believed to have been one of the strongest earthquakes in recent times. It will come as no surprise to health and safety officials, though, as a 4.2-magnitude quake – the most powerful for 40 years – hit the same area last week.
The epicentre was located at a depth of around two miles between Naples and Pozzuoli, according to the National Institute of Geophysics and Volcanology (INGV). The region is estimated to be only seven miles from Napoli’s 54,726-capacity arena, sparking fears another earthquake could strike during the match.
It remains to be seen whether the game will still go ahead, as INGV director Mario Di Vito warned further earthquakes could be on the way: “It is possible that there will be tremors of greater intensity,” he said.
The game will see Carlo Ancelotti return to his former team, having managed the Italian club between May 2018 and December 2019. His Real Madrid side beat Union Berlin 1-0 in their group stage opener, while Napoli overcame Braga 2-1 in Portugal – meaning a win for either side will put them top of the group.
Before the earthquake occurred, Ancelotti, 64, spoke highly of his former club and the Italian boss warned his players to expect a difficult tie.
“We’ll play against one of the best teams in Italy,” he said. “They did very well last year. It will be a competitive and evenly matched game as they have a high level.
“It’s going to be the toughest game of the group stage for us. I don’t want to say that we’re used to it, but the shirt of this club weighs on us.”
At the time of writing, there has been no official comment from Napoli, Real Madrid or UEFA.