Ischia, this fancy little island of the gulf of Naples, right next to Capri, was struck by an earthquake of magnitudo 4.0 last night. The earth started shaking at 20:57 causing the death of two women and injuring at least 39 others. Rescues are still going on.
Ischia is a major tourist destination famous also for its spas and during this period of August it is full of tourists arriving from all parts of the world. You can imagine the panic among the visitors when in the middle of the sea and the only way to flee is by the sea. During the night people started queueing in the harbour waiting for the first available ferry to depart to Naples. It left the island at 4:30 am in the end.
The town that is hit the most, is Casamicciola in the Northern part of Ischia. At least one hotel and the hospital were evacuated. The situatoin appears to be under control by now.
It seems to be a history repeating itself scenario as this is not the first time an eartquake is striking the island. In 1883 a quake killed 2300 people and almost completely devastated Casamicciola.
Just a quick note: the magnitude of 4,0 is not extreme, at all, the earthquake striking l’Aquila in 2009 was 6,3 and the earthquakes of last year in Central Italy were magnitudo 6,0.