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Vesuvius Day: Mount Vesuvius Eruption Anniversary

Mount Vesuvius

While many of us here on the east coast were hit with varying degrees of earth shaking Tuesday, today marks the anniversary of a much worse natural disaster: the day Mount Vesuvius exploded.

On August 24, 79 A.D., Mount Vesuvius, a dormant volcano,  erupted into one of the largest volcanic explosions in history, destroying Pompeii, Herculaneum and Stabiae–all cities in Rome and burying them in volcanic ash.


The volcanic explosion resulted in the death of more than 3,000 people.

The volcano had another major eruption in 1631 killing 3,500 people.

Mount Vesuvius is the only volcano on the mainland of Europe to erupt in the past 100 years. The only other active volcanoes are Mount Etna and Stromboli in Sicily.

The Ring Lady: Skeletal remains of a young woman killed by the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in A.D. 79. She was named the "Ring Lady" because of the emerald and ruby rings found on her left hand. Photo Credit: Vesuvioinrete, 1995.

Vesuvius has erupted multiple times since 79 A.D. and is considered one of the most dangerous volcanoes in the world.

A 1906 eruption killed more than 100 people. It’s last big eruption was in 1944 and it destroyed four villages.

Today, nearly 3 million people live in the shadows of Mount Vesuvius.

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