Italian authorities are finalizing an emergency plan to evacuate 700,000 people after warnings of Mount Vesuvius’s eruption risk were expanded earlier this year. The plan is in its final stages and will be published by the end of the month, according to officials from Italy’s southern Campania region and Department of Civil Protection.

The 25 at-risk towns are due to share their evacuation strategies in the next two weeks, and plans for seven newly identified “red zone” areas are being drawn up. “We have to equip ourselves to be prepared,” regional president Vincenzo De Luca told Italian press, “Mount Vesuvius is a problem of gigantic proportions.” READ MORE