Mt. Vesuvius Poses Imminent Danger of Eruption
by Mitch Battros (ECTV -- Earth Changes)
The Italian government believes Mt. Vesuvius to be such an imminent threat, they are offering residents money to move. Hundreds of families who live on the slopes of the volcano Mount Vesuvius have decided to accept the government's offer of $35,000 to move outside the eruption danger zone.
Many geologists believe that it is only a matter of time before another major eruption by the volcano devastates populated areas around the volcano. a large eruption in 79AD buried the towns of Pompeii and Herculaneum. In the first two days of the government's offer, about 900 families applied for the payments to move outside the danger zone.
Vesuvius is a complex volcano. I have recently learned, Vesuvius is part of a Super-Volcano named Somma. Mt. Vesuvius sits in a caldera formed about 34,000 years ago. It is known as the Somma Caldera. This is much the same as Northern America's Yellowstone Super-Volcano.
From 1983-1985 an area of 31 square miles (80 square kilometers) was uplifted, in places up to 5.9 feet (1.8 meters), damaging homes, the harbor, and the tourist industry. In 5960 B.C. and 3580 B.C., Vesuvius had two eruptions that rate among the largest known in Europe. The area was frequently jolted by large earthquakes. The decorative stonework records the damage caused by an earlier earthquake, perhaps the earthquake of 62 A.D. that preceded the 79 A.D. eruption.
Vesuvius is a dangerous and deadly volcano. Mudflows and lava flows from the eruption in 1631 killed 3,500 people. About 3,360 people died in the 79 A.D. eruption from ash flows and falls. Studies of past eruptions and their deposits continue. These studies help volcanologists understand the hazards associated with future eruptions. The population density in some areas of high risk is 20,000 to 30,000 per square km. About 3 million people could be seriously affected by future eruptions. In the first 15 minutes of a medium- to large-scale eruption, those living in an area within a 4 mile (7 km) radius of the volcano, could be destroyed.