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Eruption of Vesuvius

The eruption of Vesuvius in AD 79The eruption of Vesuvius in AD 79 In AD 79, the volcano Mount Vesuvius in southern Italy erupted violently. It was the days of the Roman Empire, then at its height. During the eruption, nearby Roman towns and cities, notably Pompeii and Herculaneum, were completely destroyed and buried by fast-moving pyroclastic flows, avalanches of red-hot gas and rock particles. The towns were rediscovered centuries later, when many well-preserved remains and treasures revealing both towns' Roman past were unearthed. As a result, the eruption of Vesuvius has become one of the most famous eruptions in history.

The column of ash blasted out by VesuviusThe column of ash blasted out by Vesuvius

Vesuvius erupts

At just after noon on 24th August AD 79, the build up of gases inside Vesuvius finally blew out the magma in Vesuvius’s crater. The volcano erupted in a violent explosion, blasting a column of ash (powdered volcanic rock) and pumice (shattered rock that was once full of gas bubbles) more than 20 kilometres (12 miles) straight up into the air.

Pumice and ash fall

Vesuvius is the only volcano in the European mainland to have erupted within the last 100 years.

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