24th August
It was on this day...
79 AD Mount Vesuvius Erupts

The volcano suddenly erupted on this day at noon, pushing a 10-mile mushroom cloud of debris into the air.

For the next 12 hours debris reined on the inhabitants of Pompeii.

Many fled for their lives, but around 2000 are thought to have stayed. Those who remained were killed by a toxic cloud of gas the next day. Then the waves of hot ash and volcanic rock buried the entire city.

A prosperous community had been built on the highly fertile volcanic soil at the steps of Vesuvius with possibly 25,000 inhabitants.

The lost cities of Pompeii and Herculaneum were rediscovered by archeologists in the 18th century.

Mount Vesuvius remains the only active volcano in Europe. It last erupted in 1944. 700,000 people live in the 'death zone' around the volcano.

Accounts of the eruption are from Pliny the Younger who was 17 years old at the time and saw the event from the Bay of Naples

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