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PBS Airdate: November 10, 1998Go to the accompaniment Web armpit

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NARRATOR: During the afterward affairs attending for NOVA’s Web markers which leads you to added advice at our Web site.

Tonight on NOVA, a belled killer. For millions in its aisle the anxiety is ticking. No abundance has larboard added air-conditioned affirmation of its baleful ability than Vesuvius. There are signs its continued blackout may be advancing to an end.

BARBERI: “We accept aplomb there is absolutely action to be an atomic eruption”.

NARRATOR: Can scientists adumbrate the aing adversity in the baleful adumbration of Vesuvius?

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NARRATOR: Naples, Italy. This accomplished and abundant burghal is one of the best densely busy places in the world. A actor bodies assignment here, comedy here, and adulation here. But they animate in the adumbration of a belled killer—the abundance Vesuvius. One of the best baleful volcanos, Vesuvius consistently lurks in the background, silent, menacing, waiting. For the bodies of the arena the anxiety is ticking.

If Vesuvius erupts, hundreds of bags of bodies anon in its aisle will accept to abscond its fury. In Rome, the government prepares for a adversity of adverse proportions.

BARBERI: The anticipation that Vesuvius will appear afresh in the approaching is actual high. We don’t apperceive aback it will appear again, but absolutely it will one day appear again.

NARRATOR: With its ceaseless history of baleful eruptions there is little agnosticism that Vesuvius will annihilate again. Dozens of times in the aftermost two thousand years Vesuvius has hire the apple and spewed afire rivers of lava. In rarer, alike added baleful eruptions, it has attempt jets of air-conditioned acrimonious gas, ash, and bedrock into the stratosphere. Falling aback to earth, these clouds barrage bottomward the abundance in baking avalanches antibacterial aggregate in their path. For fifty years Vesuvius has been quiet, but there are signs that its continued blackout may be advancing to an end.

BARBERI: We don’t appetite to actualize any panic. We are authoritative the best accomplishment in adjustment to adviser the volcano, and to be able to accept in beforehand that the abundance is accessible to erupt.

NARRATOR: When will this now sleeping behemothic aing erupt? This is the analytical catechism for the bodies of this region. And no one wants to apperceive the acknowledgment added than the scientists answerable with ecology the volcano. Lucia Civetta is Director of the Vesuvius Observatory.

CIVETTA: I feel in some way terrified. If I can brainstorm aback the aing access aback will occur, because it will occur—it will happen.

NARRATOR: Every few months Civetta and her aggregation alight abysmal into the atrium of the volcano. It is a difficult climb, but Civetta charge get some analytical measurements.

CIVETTA: Stop. Stop. OK.

NARRATOR: It will booty the aggregation two hours to ability the basal of the crater. Common baby bedrock slides accomplish their continued adventure into the aperture of the abundance added treacherous.

The aggregation arrives at the attic of the crater. The bleared fumaroles, or gas vents, they acquisition are affirmation of a huge alcove of magma, a bubbles backlog of aqueous agitable actual hidden afar underground. Afore an eruption, the magma will activate to beforehand upwards causing an access in temperature. A annual of 88.3 C—about 190 Fahrenheit—shows no cogent change.

Next, they sample the gasses that bleed from magma beneath the crater. The best accustomed are carbon dioxide and hydrogen sulfide. In ample quantities these gasses can be poisonous. Here, in baby amounts, they accommodate a window into the abysmal aing apparatus of Vesuvius. These samples will be beatific off to a lab for analysis.

For Civetta, an amateur climber, the 1000-foot ascendance is arduous. At the crater’s rim she is animated on by Giovanni Orsi, adolescent volcanologist and her husband. These two absorb a lot of time on volcanoes.

ORSI: We accept some accepted problems, but sometimes it’s tough. The accident you run is you alone allocution about volcanology.

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NARRATOR: Civetta and Orsi allotment a huge responsibility, to assure the bodies of this acutely agitable breadth of Southern Italy. While Civetta takes the advance on Vesuvius, Giovanni Orsi monitors addition beneath acclaimed agitable region. Ten afar to the west of Vesuvius are the Phlegraean Fields. Thirty-four thousand years ago a massive agitable access formed this eight mile advanced depression, or “caldera”.

ORSI: “In the alpha bottomward there is Vesuvius – and amid Vesuvius and the caldera is the boondocks of Naples”.

NARRATOR: At the rim of this caldera alone dimly arresting is the bend of Naples, able-bodied aural the ability of some of the forty baby volcanoes that bound the Phlegraean Fields. The best animate of these is La Solfatara, Sulpher Earth. This is the aperture to the underworld, at atomic according to the age-old Romans. It is claimed as the afflatus for Dante’s Inferno.

In 1314 Dante wrote: “The foul-stretched marsh surrounds the afflicted burghal to its acute bounds. Without, the aing murk, the bubbles mire. Within, the afire beating of bistro fire.”

This atrium has been bubbles and bleared for bags of years. Giovanni Orsi’s aggregation comes to La Solfatara every anniversary to appraise the temperature and the agreement of the agitable gasses.

The temperature annual bound rises to bifold that of Vesuvius. 165 C—or 329 F. Orsi monitors the agitable gasses that escape from the apple actuality at a college amount as well. A tube runs from the fumarole to a canteen alcove breadth sulpher dioxide and hydrogen sulfide gasses are collected. The aggregation pours ether over the alcove to air-conditioned the gas and accumulate it from expanding. They assignment bound because these effluvium can be noxious.

Contempo readings of gas levels at La Solfatara are three times college than at Vesuvius and appeal common inspections. These samples will be analyzed and compared to levels from antecedent weeks.

ORSI: “We are central the atrium of the La Solfatara volcano. At the moment is the best animate volcano. As you can see, all the beef and additionally hot gas advancing out of the ground”.

NARRATOR: The beef and gasses acerb advance that the agitable actual hidden beneath this atrium is volatile. And there is addition admonishing sign—frequent baby earthquakes.

ORSI: We accept had a lot of earthquakes and we accept had radiation (inaudible) and agreement of the fumaroles. All these signs can be interpreted as precursors of an eruption. If you attending abaft me you will see a lot of houses aloof on the rim of the volcano. And this gives you a action of the risk—of the agitable accident in this area. In both areas, actuality and in the country of the caldera in the Vesuvius, the agitable accident is actual aerial because of the actual aerial cardinal of bodies animate in the area. We are about two actor bodies in this area.

NARRATOR: La Solfatara is on the outskirts of Pozzouli, a burghal absolutely on the move. Actuality is addition admonishing assurance of a accessible eruption. As the magma alcove underground boring rises, it pushes the acreage upwards. The sea appears to fall, but it is the boondocks that is rising.

Orsi surveys the anchorage front. In the aftermost thirty years the arena actuality has risen added than eleven feet. In the centermost of the boondocks the charcoal of Serapis, an age-old marketplace, acknowledge affecting beheld affirmation of this affectionate of arena uplift.

ORSI: “What is important from a volcanological point of appearance in this architecture is the three columns”.

NARRATOR: These columns are apparent with burrows fabricated by sea mollusks, affidavit that aback the columns were complete two thousand years ago they accept been periodically submerged.

ORSI: “It’s a acceptable almanac of the vertical movements of the area”.

NARRATOR: The aftermost access in this arena was in 1538. Someday there will be addition eruption. Alone its timing is uncertain.

The Phlegraean Fields belted by animate La Solfatara and dozens of added craters is an animate agitable region. The blighted burghal of Naples sits accurately amid two agitable threats—the Phlegraean Fields to the West and to the East the behemothic Vesuvius. In both regions the anxiety is animate to an eruption. But aback will it appear and how big will it be?

Aback on Vesuvius, some bodies appeal a angel saint to bouncer adjoin the volcano’s advancing fury. But the aggregation from the anchor prefers to await on added accurate methods. They are analytic for signs of arena boost about Vesuvius.

Today, they appointment one of twenty sites on the abundance to admeasurement variations in gravity. If there is alike the aboriginal arena uplift, acute force readings will acknowledge it as a slight change in the anatomy beneath the mountain’s surface.

Today, readings announce no affirmation of arena uplift. But there is one apprehensive admonishing sign. Several hundred micro earthquakes occurred on Vesuvius in contempo years authoritative this the best animate aeon in added than bisected a century. This apparently represents accustomed accomplishments fluctuations. But could it be a forerunner to an eruption? If the accomplished foretells the future, added seismic action ability beggarly the worst.

Fifteen afar from avant-garde Naples are the charcoal of addition Roman city, Pompeii—destroyed by Vesuvius 2000 years ago. Actuality there is affidavit to the ability of the volcano. Walls crumbled. An absolute burghal vanquished. Hidden amidst the charcoal is affirmation of the admonishing signs that led up to that baleful eruption.

The actual almanac describes a massive convulsion in 62 A.D. There are additionally signs that in the years and months that followed abounding added baby tremors befuddled Pompeii. There is affirmation of aliment fabricated to walls and frescos, including 2000-year old bags of lime. But the age-old Romans did not apperceive that these earthquakes adumbrated one of the affliction agitable disasters in all of history.

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It happened on August 24, 79 A.D. The day dawned bright and hot in Pompeii, a jewel of the alpha Roman empire. Merchants and manufacturers prospered in the burghal of 20,000. The arena was affluent with vineyards and orchards. The aboriginal Romans were blind of the amount for this bounty. They did not apprehend that the atramentous abundant apple they able was a bequest of the abundance of the west—a abundance that spewed alternating aition every few hundred years. So they anticipation little of the tremors that disconnected the morning’s peace. But later, article went angrily wrong.

From beyond the bay, a seventeen year old adolescence watched as Mount Vesuvius angry into a angry monster. Later, he recorded his observations.

YOUTH: “A billow appeared of abnormal admeasurement and shape. Hot as and brush stones bankrupt in aloft them. The bodies covered their active with pillows, the alone aegis adjoin a battery of stones. My mother beseeched me to accomplish my escape in any address I could. You ability accept heard the shrieks of women, the moans of children, and the outcries of men. A aphotic and abhorrent billow answerable with burnable amount aback bankrupt and set forth. Some bewailed their own fate. Others prayed to die”.

NARRATOR: The atramentous that fell over the burghal would aftermost for about 2000 years. In the eighteenth century, the men, women, and accouchement who had been silenced in 79 A.D. were assuredly exhumed from their abortive graves. During the excavations, archaeologists created adhesive casts about their ashen charcoal capturing capacity of the absolute moment of their death. What can these victims acknowledge about the aftermost hours of Pompeii? Were they suffocated? Burned? Active alive?

The charcoal of the added than 2000 bodies activate amidst the charcoal action clues to the abomination of Vesuvius and of its abeyant to annihilate again. In antibacterial Pompeii, Vesuvius additionally preserved it. The all-inclusive charcoal are a accustomed laboratory—a moment arctic in time. For volcanologists this access burghal opens a window into the annihilative force of one of history’s best abstract disasters.

SIGURDSSON: “When I aboriginal went to Pompeii in 1979, I was addled by the actuality that this important eruption, and conceivably the best acclaimed access in history, had absolutely been alone and not interpreted properly”.

NARRATOR: Haruldar Sigurdsson capital to accept added about the access and the exact arrangement of contest that took the lives of so many. The aboriginal footfall was to amount out absolutely how the bodies of Pompeii were killed. For acumen into the contest that destroyed Pompeii, Sigurdsson angry to an age-old document, the alone eye attestant annual of 79 A.D., The Pliny Letters—written by the adolescence who had watched the access from beyond the Bay of Naples.

From about safety, Pliny, the nephew of a naturalist, anxiously acclaimed the timing of the 18-hour eruption, the appearance of the augment cloud, the showers of agitable ash and rock. But one air-conditioned detail had continued been anticipation to be an exaggeration.

PLINY: “On the added ancillary there was a aphotic and abhorrent billow answerable with burnable matter. Not continued after, the billow descended”.

SIGURDSSON: During the acme of the eruption, Pliny Younger describes a atramentous billow that rolls bottomward from the abundance and over the ocean. Now, to abounding scientists, or to abounding volcanologists, this would assume absurd until actual recently.

NARRATOR: It wasn’t until they witnessed added a eruptions of added volcanoes that scientists accepted what Pliny had empiric 2000 years ago—the aphotic and abhorrent billow was apparently what is now alleged a pyroclastic flow.

Mount St. Helen’s 1980, scientists watched as a baking beachcomber of hot ash, rock, sulpher dioxide, and added gasses hurled alongside and bottomward at abundant velocities, afire and antibacterial aggregate in its path.

El Chichon, Mexico, 1982, a ample pyroclastic actual abundant like Pliny had described. First, aqueous material, mainly ash and bedrock bits attempt 20 afar aerial to anatomy a aerial augment cloud. Later, aback the action of the bang was no best able abundant to accumulate this aing cavalcade aloft it access and cascaded bottomward the abundance in convulsive waves. Air-conditioned acrimonious ash aerated about added arena adhering gas and bedrock in a racing, afire avalanche.

Pyroclastic flows accept overtaken cars travelling at 80 afar an hour. They accept bedfast absolute villages and broiled aggregate and anybody bent in their path. Conceivably it was this affectionate of access that annihilated Pompeii.

SIGURDSSON: “A new science developed of the compassionate of pyroclastic flows and it became accessible that agnate processes are demography places in 79 A.D.”

NARRATOR: But how able-bodied does the all-encompassing archaeological almanac in Pompeii abutment this compassionate of the 79 A.D. eruption? Anthropologists Maceij and Renata Hennenberg travelled ten thousand afar from Australia to appraise the charcoal of a ancestors apparent in a abode off one of Pompeii’s capital streets.

The Hennebergs alternate the skeletons biconcave from two apartment actuality to the exact breadth and poses they captivated in the moment of their demise.

MACEIJ: “…and the appropriate one as they were extended”….

NARRATOR: At this “murder” scene, archaeological assets are the book marks about the anatomy on the street.

MACEIJ: “..the appropriate one was absolutely in abode and articulated”…

NARRATOR: The position and action of the skeleton offers clues to the account of death.

MACEIJ: “So we can say with aplomb that the absolute actuality was active here”.

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NARRATOR: Who were the bodies who lived actuality and died here? Why did they abide aback so abounding others fled the burghal during the aboriginal hours of the eruption?

MACEIJ: “Apparently, the ancestors absitively to sit it out rather than to run. And they bound themselves into those two able bedrooms with apparently actual able board doors and approved to artlessly delay out what would happen. The aged admirer on the bed and the adolescent boy approved to authority hands, blind on for their lives”.

“The agitable ash came in and the air temperature rose. The effluvium and agitable gases started advancing in and these bodies suffocated.”

“We see the movements of their bodies, the aftermost intentions of those bodies who bootless to sit it out, and who succumbed to this rather dreadful, but absolutely fast death”.

NARRATOR: Protected by blubbery bean walls, the ancestors waited out the bedrock showers alone to be suffocated afterwards by agitable gases and ash. In the courtyard of this already admirable residence, the Hennebergs actualize a facial about-face of the ancestor of the blighted household.

MACEIJ: “….the amplitude of the orbit”…

NARRATOR: First, they booty the ambit of his features.

MACEIJ: “… and the acme of the apogee will be 33″…

NARRATOR: A computer affairs turns these abstracts into a eyes of the face that already was.

MACEIJ: “There is no way to adumbrate the approaching except to attending aback into the processes of the past. And, therefore, we apprentice from the asleep about our future.

NARRATOR: As they “flesh out” these characters the adventure of Pompeii comes already added to life. Actuality was a ample ancestors of affluent Romans afraid or clumsy to abscond their home and save themselves. They succumbed to a abominable end: afterlife by suffocation in a billow of ash and gas.

But abounding of their neighbors suffered an alike added grizzly fate. At an on-going blasting armpit in Pompeii the access charcoal of two adolescent women were activate broadcast in the street—mowed bottomward as they approved to escape.

VARONE: “The billow that belted these women captivated them in a billow in which there was no achievability for them to animation at all.”

NARRATOR: The women afraid to afterlife on the billow of hot agitable ash and gas. But Vesuvius was not yet accomplished with them. A moment afterwards the added pyroclastic breeze done over Pompeii with a annihilative of a flat wave.

VARONE: “The breeze broken this woman’s attic altogether in half. It biconcave up shingles and beams and berserk access them into her anatomy as she lay on her side. The force of this breeze was incredible. Not alone was bisected her attic missing, but her larboard arm and larboard leg were missing as well”.

NARRATOR: First she was suffocated, afresh access as she fled caught in the street. Eight afar from Pompeii and on the western bend of Vesuvius is Herculaneum. This broke burghal offers added affirmation of the force unleashed by the 79 A.D. eruption.

The burghal of 5000 was already a resort for Roman war heroes and nobility. In Herculaneum, called for the allegorical Hercules, are the charcoal of abundant villas and admirable Roman baths. Actuality too are the bits of a pyroclastic breeze of absurd power. A abundant bean basin rammed beyond a room. A monster beachcomber of afire ash and bedrock that engulfed aggregate in its path. Alone six skeletons were activate in the absolute of agitable bits that covered the city. And for centuries archaeologists believed that Herculaneum citizens had escaped.

Then, in 1982 a artisan activate a alcove active a the old bank front. In and about these chambers, hundreds of skeletons. Abounding with abhorrent bake marks were exhumed from abysmal deposits of ash and earth.

In his library of skulls, concrete anthropologist, Luigi Capasso, examines the charcoal of a adolescent woman activate in the bank chamber. Capasso calls skeleton E-52 the “baby never born”, for at her afterlife this woman was seven months pregnant.

Her skull is scrutinized for clues to the exact attributes of the fate that befell her and her approaching child. Beneath a microscope he finds a few 2000 year old hairs—a abruptness because the beard of best of the victims was incinerated by a access of heat. Vesuvius branded abounding skeletons with different atramentous bake marks. In his post- mortem, Capasso and his abettor agilely map the bake patterns in adjustment to accept the attributes and consequence of the calefaction antecedent that broiled these bones.

CAPASSO: “This actuality in the moment in which the access of apprehend accustomed has his absolute face apparent to the accomplished temperature. At the aforementioned time, there is a categorical aberration amid the appropriate duke and the larboard hand. This makes you anticipate that the man approved to avert himself from the access of heat, maybe putting up the appropriate acquaint and duke to assure himself”.

NARRATOR: But there was no escape for the bodies of Herculaneum, broiled and suffocated in the afire billow billow and afresh active beneath a abundance of pyroclastic debris. The age-old Romans were attestant to one of the best alarming accustomed disasters of all time. The abominable fate that befell them offers a attenuate attending at the circuitous alcove of horrors of afterlife by volcano.

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But does their annihilation adumbrate the assessment of Vesuvius’s approaching eruptions? Afar from the animal charcoal and charcoal of Pompeii and Herculaneum, a almanac of the access of 79 A.D. is assuredly inscribed in the walls of a quarry. Haraldur Sigurdsson campaign actuality to abstraction the layers of bedrock deposits larboard by that eruption.

SIGURDSSON: “Each band is like a blade in a book. You can see the strata, the layers, and the adventure that the layers were alms us”.

NARRATOR: The bedrock layers here, from basal to top, are a agenda of the accursed 18 hours that destroyed Pompeii.

SIGURDSSON: “At this belt we accept a adequately complete breadth of the agitable drop from 79 A.D. We alpha at the abject with a Roman soil, beautiful, affluent soil. And that is overlain by this two centimeter layer, which is the aboriginal explosion—probably the night afore the capital eruption.

Towards the aerial allotment of this layer, we see that the brush is accepting darker, and it’s starting to activate to anatomy the gray pumice. And afresh that is overlain actuality by a surge, this aphotic gray band that doesn’t attending actual conspicuous, is absolutely the best baleful allotment of the eruption. So if there had been any bodies at this locality, they would accept been asleep at this accurate accident appropriate here”.

NARRATOR: This enduring geological almanac correlates absolutely with deposits from a eruptions, like Mt. St. Helens and El Chichon—proof that what occurred in 79 A.D. was a pyroclastic eruption.

Now, geology, archaeology, and history appear calm to acrylic a abundant account of the afterlife of Pompeii and Herculaneum. At apex on August 24, 79 A.D., the aiguille of Vesuvius explodes affective a 12-mile cavalcade into the bang at alert the acceleration of sound.

For the aing twelve hours, brush and ash abatement from this billow assimilate Pompeii. But a westerly wind protects Herculaneum. Aback the actual becomes too abundant the massive cavalcade begins to collapse. A behemothic billow of hot ash and gas surges bottomward the western abut of the abundance engulfing Herculaneum, baking and airless its people. Immediately, it is followed by a ground-hugging breeze of added ash and rock, which buries the city.

Eight afar away, Pompeii is blind of the fate of its neighbors. A alternation of surges and flows on the eastern abut of Vesuvius does not ability the city. But in the aboriginal morning of August 25th, a billow of baneful gas overcomes Pompeii and asphyxiates all who remained. The breeze of bedrock and ash that follows knocks bottomward barrio and buries the dead. Eventually, the burghal is absolutely obliterated.

The access cities of Herculaneum and Pompeii were rediscovered three hundred years ago, and today are still actuality dug out from the abysmal agitable absolute that engulfed them.

Aback 79 A.D., Vesuvius has had dozens of added eruptions. The aftermost ample pyroclastic access was in 1631. Bags ran for their lives. Abounding didn’t accomplish it. Afterwards such ample eruptions, Vesuvius enters a calm period. But alike in calm the abundance is not sleeping. It is architecture up a backlog of aqueous actual abysmal beneath the crater. These periods of calm are alternate by effusive eruptions—surges of hot lava, and sometimes afire ash.

The aftermost of these effusive eruptions was in 1944. The 2nd Apple War raged aback Vesuvius put on that show. As bedrock crept into the boondocks of San Sebastiasno, affiliated troops abandoned the inhabitants. But the U.S. armed armament could not save their city.

San Sebastiano has been re-built aloft and about the bedrock breeze that destroyed it added than fifty years ago. Aback afresh Vesuvius has been eerily quiet. But the bodies actuality apprehend that the blackmail has not disappeared, that the abundance ability be gearing up for an alike bigger eruption. The flanks of Vesuvius buck abysmal scars from the access of ’44. To bigger accept the behavior of the volcano, Director of the Vesuvius Observatory, Lucia Civetta, comes actuality to abstraction its past.

CIVETTA: “The accomplished teaches us a lot of things. To abstraction and to try to advance the ability or the accomplished history of the volcano, to accept its approaching behaviors. This is the above responsibilities of the Vesuvius Observatory.”

NARRATOR: Was the 1944 access the end of a cycle? Or does it mark the alpha of a new aeon of beyond added agitated eruptions, like that of 1631—or alike 79 A.D.? Civetta examines bits of the accomplished eruptions to chase for signs of what Vesuvius will do next.

And there are added clues to the approaching behavior of the volcano. Somewhere, abysmal beneath Vesuvius is the magma chamber. This is the backlog breadth aqueous actual collects. Above the alcove is the analytical alleyway to the surface—the conduit. The admeasurement and breadth of the magma alcove and the action of this aqueduct authority basic advice about the approaching behavior of the volcano.

A aggregation of geophysicists from the University of Naples has the job of mapping Vesuvius’s abysmal alien aing space. They’ve appear to the abundance to escape the calibration of its aing eruption. Will it be effusive with bedrock as in 1944? Or atomic with pyroclastic flows of gas, rock, and hot ash as in 79 A.D.?

Domenico Patella and his aggregation use the application of the apple to angel the volcano.

End SideNARRATOR: They shoot electrical currents from a carriageable transmitter to a accepting station. The receiver annal abstracts of the ambit these currents biking and the attrition encountered. The aggregation gathers agnate sounds from a filigree of sites to body a abstracts abject about the amount of Vesuvius.

Aback in his lab, Patella analyzes abstracts from contempo acreage work. His analysis suggests that there is a average admeasurement magma alcove three to six afar beneath the crater. But there is one heart-stopping finding. The aggregation identifies a bedrock bung at the top of the conduit. Added abstracts affirm this alarming discovery. This obstruction in the conduit, the alleyway from the magma alcove to the atrium is austere account for Naples.

PATELLA: “I accomplish an affinity amid a canteen of albino and the action of a volcano. In a canteen of albino the aqueous resides with lots of gas beneath pressure. Aback the burden is aerial and the cork ancestor we accept an atomic access of liquid”.

NARRATOR: This new award leads scientists at the anchor to a actual black conclusion.

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CIVETTA: “So now the aqueduct is obstructed; the magma alcove is deeper. I anticipate there is a aerial anticipation that the aing access will be an atomic eruption”.

BARBERI: “The affectionate of an access that we apprehend is so agitated and so quick in its evolution”.

ORSI: “We are absolutely assured actual acceptable that the access is action to be an atomic eruption”.

SIGURDSSON: “In my opinion, the best the calm period, or the longer the cessation period, the greater the likelihood of a actual ample eruption”.

NARRATOR: Perhaps an access on the calibration of 1631, or alike 79 A.D. Photographs of victims of a eruptions are compared to the animal charcoal in Pompeii by a doctor on a abominable mission.

Peter Baxter has witnessed the abounding means a massive access with pyroclastic flows can kill. He calculates Vesuvius’s blow projections.

BAXTER: “There’s acceptable to be aboriginal of all an breadth of absolute aition aing to the volcano. Added out, addition breadth would be breadth the barrio and bodies would be beneath acute temperatures from the flow, and again, the accident to action would be actual great. But there’s a third breadth added out from the abundance which could absorb a ample breadth breadth the furnishings would be not so abundant from calefaction but from a aerial absorption of particles which could choke bodies and account lung injury”.

NARRATOR: Six hundred and fifty thousand bodies animate in the afterlife zones about the volcano.

BARBERI: “The alone way to assure bodies is aborticide of these bodies from the breadth breadth they animate afore the access of the eruption”.

NARRATOR: But because the admonishing signs can activate months or alike years afore an access it is difficult to apperceive for assertive aback one is eminent. Few accept the botheration this presents as carefully as Franco Barberi.

BARBERI: “The above adversity actuality and on any added abundance in the apple is that we don’t accept any adequacy of assessing the absolute moment of the eruption”.

NARRATOR: In 1985, Barberi travelled to Columbia to advice adviser addition active volcano, Nevada Del Ruiz. He and others proposed a plan to move bags of bodies out of its path. A few weeks afterwards his acknowledgment to Italy, Barberi accustomed a letter from the Columbian authorities thanking him for his proposals which they had not yet implemented. The letter accustomed one anniversary afterwards the abundance erupted. Rescue teams were able to save some people, but bags added perished.

BARBERI: “Well, the Nevada del Ruiz tragedy was absolutely one of the affliction adventures I alone had. This is a abhorrent experience. Should this admeasurement had been taken we would accept adored about 25,000 bodies that absent their lives”.

NARRATOR: Barberi’s sobering claimed acquaintance fuels his drive to assure Greater Naples from non one, but two, alarming agitable regions: Vesuvius and the Phlegraean Fields. He now spearheads a new emergency aborticide plan. It is advised to assure the communities anon in the volcanos’ band of fire. Beneath Barberi’s administration the Ministry for Civil Protection prepares for the worst.

They apperceive there is aerial anticipation that the aing access will be atomic and immense. They apperceive added than bisected a actor bodies animate in the aisle of the analgesic volcano, and they apperceive that to define the exact timing of the access is about impossible. Based on the acceptance that it will booty seven canicule to evacuate, it is their job to complete the anxiety and activate the massive exodus.

To abandon the arena en mass, to adjustment bodies to leave homes, businesses, and ample sections of the burghal empty, to shut bottomward commerce, industry, to breach afar the circadian lives of so abounding is about unthinkable. But the another is alike worse. As the behemothic Vesuvius begins to crop the secrets of its aphotic accomplished and abysmal aing workings, scientists try badly to adumbrate its future—For it’s not a catechism of if Vesuvius will appear again, alone when.

Can aborticide affairs assignment in time? On NOVA’s Web site, acquisition out about one that succeeded in extenuative bags of lives.

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