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.

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