Olivia Wee

Pompeii was once a successful and advanced ancient city until it was buried in ash from the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79 AD. The people of Pompeii did not take any notice to the warning signs, and because of this, anyone and anything in the city during the eruption is still covered in ash to this day. If they would’ve payed closer attention, the people may have had more of a chance.

Image: "25 Mind-Blowing Facts About The Pompeii Destruction." List25. N.p., 01 Jan. 2015. Web. 05 Apr. 2016. <http://list25.com/25-mind-blowing-facts-about-the-pompeii-destruction/>.

Warning signs

There were multiple signs of the Vesuvius eruption. Earthquakes were large signs that an eruption was coming. Also, a historian reported seeing giants which was relative because it was said that when the gods beat the giants, they would be buried under the mountains, and their disruption was the cause of the eruption(Hadril).

During the eruption

The eruption of Mt. Vesuvius was on August 24th, 79 AD around 1:00 pm and continued until the next day. The worst of the eruption happened around midnight, which included a ground-hugging avalanche of hot ash, pumice, rock fragments, and volcanic gas. This came down the volcano at a speed of 100 km per hour or more. Following the avalanche, waves came crashing in, taking down buildings and houses, along with the people who had survived the eruption with it(Martini).

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Effects of eruption

The earthquake caused extreme damage to Pompeii and Herculaneum. Some areas were affected greater than others, such as whole houses being demolished. Upper floors were affected even worse, and there is proof to show upper floors being abandoned(Hadril).

Could it happen again?

Vesuvius erupts mostly andesite rocks, which create explosive eruptions. This makes Vesuvius an even more dangerous and unpredictable volcano. There are also small strombolian eruptions and lava flows from the summit. Plinian eruptions, however, are much more likely and are larger, and have destroyed entire cities near Vesuvius. As of right now, Vesuvius is quiet with slight seismic activity and outgassing, but it is very possible to have a future eruption(Ball).

Image: History.com Staff. "Pompeii." History.com. A&E Television Networks, 01 Jan. 2010. Web. 05 Apr. 2016. <http://www.history.com/topics/ancient-history/pompeii>.

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Image: Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, n.d. Web. 05 Apr. 2016. <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pompeii>.

If the people of Pompeii were to take more notice of signs, many lives could be saved. By simply paying attention, people today could save themselves and prevent another historic tragedy. The destruction may still be significant, but lives will be saved. History should never repeat itself.


Hadril, Andrew Wallace-. "History." BBC. BBC, 2014. Web. 22 Mar. 2016. <http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/ancient/romans/pompeii_portents_01.shtml>.

Martini, Kirk. "Patterns of Reconstruction at Pompeii." Patterns of Reconstruction at Pompeii. University of Virginia, 1998. Web. 28 Mar. 2016. <http://www2.iath.virginia.edu/struct/pompeii/patterns/sec-02.html>.

Ball, Jessica. "Mount Vesuvius - Italy." Mount Vesuvius, Italy: Map, Facts, Eruption Pictures, Pompeii. Geology.com, n.d. Web. 29 Mar. 2016. <http://geology.com/volcanoes/vesuvius/>.