A SMALL earthquake sent a Italian town, named Rieti (near Rome City) into meltdown as fears grew that a nearby mega-volcano was about to blow.

Residentsin the municipality of Paternopoli were shaken when a 3.9 magnitude quake.
Although no damages to buildings nor injuries were reported, schools were evacuated as a precautionary measure. Near to the epicentre of the earthquake is the potentially catastrophic Vesuvius, some 51 miles away.
The 4,200-foot high volcano last erupted in 1944 and usually has an eruption cycle of every 20 years, meaning that it has been building up for almost 4 times.
Mt Vesuvius is responsible for one of the most deadly eruptions in human history when, in 79 AD, the huge volcano erupted over the city of Pompeii, killing all 11,000 inhabitants of the ancient Roman-ruled area.
It is the most densely populated volcanic region in the world, with three million people living in the nearby city of Naples.

The earthquakes themselves are nothing to be concerned about, but some seismologists and volcanologists believe that tremors around a volcano could be a precursor of an impending eruption. As a result of any impending blast, Italian officials in recent years have begun planning evacuation procedures.

The strategy is being created as the size of the “red zone” – areas which could be hit by an eruption – massively increased in 2016 from 550,000 people in 18 towns to 672,000 in 25 surrounding towns.