The cities of Pompeii and Herculaneum thrived near the base of Mount Vesuvius. 20,000 people lived in Pompeii, some of which were merchants, farmers and manufacturers who used its rich soil. No one had suspected that the fertile soil had a past of many earlier eruptions of Vesuvius.
At noon, on August 24th 79 A.D, the peak of Mount Vesuvius exploded, with a 10 mile cloud of ash and pumice moving into the stratosphere. During the next 12 hours, volcanic ash and hailing pumice (which were up to 3 inches)covered Pompeii.
AUGUST 24 79A.D
Molten rock had been leaking from the Earth’s crust but a thick plug in Mount Vesuvius blocked it’s exit; explosive pressure slowly started to grow inside. As the eruption continued, the magma chamber collapsed and the eruptions began.
Around 2000 people stayed in Pompeii, waiting for the eruption to pass.
Initially, westerly wind protected Herculaneum but then a giant cloud ofhot ash engulfed the city, killing everyone who remained.