The Italian Culture Ministry announced the discovery of well-preserved remains of two men, who perished during the volcanic eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79 AD.
- Located in southern Italy near the coastal city of Naples, the 4,203-ft (1,281 metres) tall Vesuvius is the only active volcano in mainland Europe.
- Vesuvius has been classified as a complex volcano (also called a compound volcano), one that consists of a complex of two or more vents.
- It typically has explosive eruptions and pyroclastic flows –– defined as a high-density mix of hot lava blocks, pumice, ash and volcanic gas.
- It has erupted more than 50 times and is considered among the most dangerous volcanoes in the world due to its proximity to Naples and surrounding towns.
- Its last serious eruption, lasting two weeks, was in 1944 during World War II, which left 26 Italian civilians dead and around 12,000 displaced.
The eruption of 79 AD
- In 79 AD, the Roman Empire-era sister cities of Pompeii and Herculaneum were destroyed and buried during a catastrophic eruption of Vesuvius.
- It was a catastrophic event that destroyed the ancient Roman city of Pompeii and killed around 16,000 people.
- Pompeii, 8 km away from Vesuvius, served as a resort town on the Bay of Naples for Rome’s elite citizens, consisting of villas, cafes, marketplaces and a 20,000-seat arena.
- In 63 AD, a major earthquake rattled the city, serving as a warning for the eruption to come. However, few residents bothered to abandon the region, known for its volatility.