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Pompeii - Vesuvius!
cwo3ward @ 12/ 12/ 2009

Mount Vesuvius is a volcano located to the east of Naples, Italy.  I've read that it is the only active volcano on the European mainland in the last one hundred years.  It is not currently erupting, though.  Mount Vesuvius is near the Bay of Naples, and it is very visible from both Naples and Sorrento on the opposite side of the Bay.  From our hotel room in Sorrento, we could see Naples to the north and Vesuvius to the northeast, about six miles from the bay.

 

Mount Vesuvius is responsible for the blast that killed thousands of people in 79 AD.  The hot ash, cinders and pumice that rained down on Pompeii collapsed most of the roofs and buried the city in 60 feet of protective cover.  For almost 1,700 years, the city was frozen in time.  The people who failed to leave or escape were covered and killed by the falling debris and by the poisonous gases moving across the land and the entire area to the west of the volcano.

 

Vesuvius is still smoldering and people take excursions to the top and look down into the crater.  There is steam coming out of various spots.  Mount Vesuvius is considered to be one of the most dangerous volcanoes in the world, since 3,000,000 or so people live near the volcano.  It is the type of volcano that explodes and that makes it very dangerous to the people living near its base. Mount Vesuvius was a lot closer to Pompeii that I thought it was.  While standing in the Roman Forum area of Pompeii, I took some pictures with Vesuvius in the background.  It was then that I realized how vulnerable the people of Pompeii really were to an explosive event such as what happened in 79 AD.  They were faced with the choice of whether to stay and tough it out or to flee and avoid the wrath of the massive volcano.  I suspect even people who fled still got hit with the poison gases and many more must have died.

What were the WOW moments you experienced?
Mount Vesuvius is massive and so close to Pompeii. The people didn't have much of a chance to get away once the volcano blew its top! Those who didn't flee were covered in ash and rock that rained down on the city.
Italy, Pompeii, Vesuvius Volcano
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Pompeii  Volcano  
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