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Due to natural gas problems, Italy’s Vulcano island faces night evacuation

Fearing about potentially dangerous gases from volcanic activity, the mayor of the Italian island of Vulcano on the northern coast of Sicily has ordered a partial night evacuation in the area close to the port.

The order is effective from Monday and will be valid for the next month, which means that approximately 300 residents will be prohibited from sleeping at home between 23:00 and 06:00.

Tourism will also be banned on the island, which is part of the Aeolian Islands.

“The unconsciousness of sleep will not let them discover risks,” Mayor Marco Giorgianni told Reuters, adding that the evacuees will be placed elsewhere on the island.

In a report last week, Italy’s National Institute of Geophysics and Volcanoes (INGV) stated that the level of carbon dioxide around the crater was “abnormally high”, and the last eruption of the crater was between 1888 and 1890.

Local media reported that after the Civil Defense Agency issued an alert about a “significant” change in volcanic parameters, in late October, some families had left their houses because of the gas.

Giorgianni said that the city government will provide grants to help those who are forced to find another place to live, but life on the island will continue as usual during the day.

Angela Borgia, who runs a restaurant in the harbor area, said that although the islanders are worried about the gas, it is difficult to move the elderly and sick at night.

“We also understand that this is for our own safety, and we accept it,” she told Reuters.

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