Thursday, March 09, 2006

Ancient warning for modern Italian city

Ancient warning for modern Italian city. For those who may get confused and believe that the past is not very important, this news story is for you!

About 3780 years ago, Mount Vesuvius erupted in a huge display. This blast was far larger than the blast that buried Pompeii in AD 79. The blast left evidence that researchers are finding today.

This has an immediate impact on the city of Naples. Much of the city would be vulnerable to destruction if a similar eruption to the one of 3780 years ago hit today. The area is far more populated and the evidence clearly shows that volcanic damage reached many parts of the modern city of Naples.

The article notes, "Sheridan said a future eruption should provide considerable warning from earthquakes that would precede it, and urged that this danger be included in hazard planning for Naples. Current planning is based on a smaller eruption from 1631 that affected only areas near the base of the mountain, he said. But the new findings from the ancient eruption show the hazard from ash, hot gases and other dangers could affect much of modern Naples, he said. A similar eruption today would bring "extreme devastation extending into the densely urbanized Neapolitan area" that was untouched by the A.D. 79 event, they warned. Indicating there must have been warnings of the ancient disaster, the researchers found thousands of footprints from a rapid evacuation of the area, including the present Neapolitan district."

Another Mt. Vesuvius eruption of the magnitude of the one from 3780 years ago probably will happen someday. When it does, Naples is in trouble. However, by studying the past, much can be learned to prepare the city for the disaster when it does occur.

It is stories like this which make it easier to show the importance of history to skeptical students!

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