What is the history of Mount Vesuvius?

Mount Vesuvius is famous for destroying the ancient city of Pompeii back in 79 A.D. But apart from that, what else do we know about it? The tragic destruction of Pompeii isn’t the only time this massive volcano has erupted and wasn’t the last. Read here to find out the secrets of this looming volcano in Southern-east Italy.

It’s History

After discovering an ancient rock on the volcano, scientists have estimated Mount Vesuvius is around 300,000 years old. Although the 79 A.D. incident is the volcano’s most famous eruption, it has been through numerous flare-ups. It first massive eruption was 25,000 years ago, but before that had many smaller explosions. Since Pompeii’s destruction, there have been about 50 eruptions, with the most recent in 1944 during World War II.

The 79 A.D. Eruption

Many may believe that a volcano’s devastation is only due to the hot lava that flows from its top, but it is much more complex. There are waves of different events that aid in a city and its civilisation’s destruction, with the eruption of Pompeii having numerous stages. Earthquakes were the first stage in the volcano’s eruption, but due to this being a common occurrence, Pompeii merely brushed this off. Vesuvius then erupted days later, causing a loud clatter of thunder sound, and blasted a huge cloud of volcanic smoke around 19 km high. After this, large pyroclastic waves of gas, ash, and rock speed down towards Pompeii at speeds of 700km per hour. This was the main stage that killed the citizens, as those consumed in this wave were burnt alive with temperatures gathered up to 700 degrees Celsius. The entire eruption time lasted a full 24 hours, where it slowly buried the city in the thick layer of ash and rock.

The Volcano Today

Vesuvius is still, and the only active volcano in all of Europe named the sleeping giant by locals. Scientists have estimated its time period between eruptions and have gathered it is due for an eruption. There are even more people living within the Volcano’s perimeter these days, with three million residents who are all at risk. However, due to modern technology, monitoring the volcano and its activity is much easier. With scientists researching its gas emissions, movements and other indicators will give them any warnings. An evacuation has already been implemented in case of any eruptions. The areas have been dubbed either the ‘red zone’, which refers to the areas in closest danger and the rest which would be affected later on.

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