Eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79 AD

Of the many eruptions of Mount Vesuvius, a major stratovolcano in southern Italy, the most famous is its eruption in 79 AD, which was one of the deadliest in European history.
In the late summer of 79 AD, Mount Vesuvius violently spewed forth a deadly cloud of super-heated tephra and gases to a height of 33 km, ejecting molten rock, pulverized pumice and hot ash at 1.5 million tons per second, ultimately releasing 100,000 times the thermal energy of the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The event gives its name to the Vesuvian type of volcanic eruption, characterised by eruption columns of hot gases and ash exploding into the stratosphere, although the event also included pyroclastic flows associated with Pelean eruptions.
At the time, the region was a part of the Roman Empire, and several Roman cities were obliterated and buried underneath massive pyroclastic surges and ashfall deposits, the best known being Pompeii and Herculaneum. After archaeological excavations revealed much about the lives of the inhabitants, the area became a major tourist attraction, and is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site and part of Vesuvius National Park.
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