April 06, 2015

"E" is for Eruption

When standing in the archeological site of Pompeii near Naples I cast  a wary eye at Mount Vesuvius, shrouded in low-lying cloud. I think of the eruption in 79 AD that destroyed this ancient Roman town and the thousands of people who were killed by the pyroclastic flows of ash and hot gases. Could such a disaster happen again?



Mount Vesuvius, Pompeii


Mount Vesuvius is the only active volcano in mainland Europe. The last eruption was in 1944 when 26 people died and experts believe another occurrence is overdue. The next eruption could endanger the lives of 3 million people and destroy the city of Naples. But there will be warning signs like earthquakes and the volcano is now closely monitored for seismic activity.



Plaster Cast of a Victim of the Eruption


Today Mount Vesuvius looks peaceful when viewed from nearby towns like Sorrento. It's hard to imagine the destruction another eruption would cause. Hopefully we're better prepared for the next time this volcano erupts because the question is not if, but when, Mount Vesuvius will erupt again.



View of Mount Vesuvius from Sorrento


Next:  "F" is for Forcola

10 comments:

  1. After seeing the movies Volcano and Pompeii I think an eruption has become one of my biggest fears.

    Good luck with the 2015 A to Z Challenge!
    A to Z Co-Host S. L. Hennessy
    http://pensuasion.blogspot.com

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  2. Definitely not the kind of thing you'd want to experience firsthand. Thanks for stopping by!

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  3. I still vividly remember the ruins I saw in Pompeii. They made quite an impression. A few years ago while visiting Mount Rainier, a guide pointed out the directional signs for leaving the park in case of an eruption. Really? You can drive down a mountain faster than a lava flow?

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    1. Hopefully they'd give you plenty of notice but even then, I'd hate to be in a position where I had to outrun lava.

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  4. I have seen a couple of documentaries about Pompeii. It is a dreadful but interesting history.
    Charlotte @My Green Nook

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    1. It is very tragic. I'd hate to see something like that happen again.

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  5. As you rightly say, its not if but when. Science today is clearly far more advanced than during the original Pompeii quake, but its still not 100% foolproof.
    Its sad, but understandable, that so much of the site is off limits due to safety issues, but even 20 years ago when I visited there were places you couldnt get to.
    I watched a great documentary only recently about the problems Pompeii has with money, the site simply can't afford to keep the place safe and with the financial crisis thats still hitting Europe, there simply isn't the money to spare for historical sites, even though they bring in billions in revenue every year.

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    1. It would be such a shame to lose any of our great historical sites but you're right, there isn't always the money for upkeep. Thank goodness some private sponsors are getting involved. I read that fashion house Fendi has contributed millions of dollars for the restoration of Rome's Trevi Fountain. (Alas, it was closed while we were there last summer.)

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  6. We were there in 2012 and had a tour of Popmeii, but I don't remember them telling us it had erupted so recently. Great post.

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    1. Thanks, Rhonda. I too was surprised that it was so recent. And I must confess that I can't remember half of what the tour guides tell me, they're SO knowledgable and my brain can only take in so many details. Google to the rescue!

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