24 August, AD79. The day one volcanic mountain came to life and two cities met their deaths. Pompeii and the nearby settlement of Herculaneum were consumed by a mixture of heat, falling pumice stone and ash. Mount Vesuvius, about 9km (5.5 miles) away, had exploded, sending a mass of volcanic debris high into the air, which then landed like a military bombardment on the citizens of the two cities below. Estimates of deaths in both places range from between 10,000 and 25,000. In Pompeii, the effects of the cataclysm were especially vivid, leaving as they did a city almost frozen at the moment of its expiration. So fast and vast was the tonnage of volcanic rock and dust dumped on its residents and livestock that many were killed on the spot.
Pompeii Herculaneum Napoli Naples Vesuvius cast statue volcano ash