Vesuvius and Pompeii

Mount Vesuvius in southern Italy is today regarded as one of the most dangerous volcanoes in the world.  With over three million people living close to the volcano, including in the densely populated city of Naples, any future eruption has the potential to be truly catastrophic.  Although the AD79 eruption that destroyed Pompeii (pictured) is the most famous, there have been several smaller eruptions since.  In 1906 a violent eruption killed over 100 people and forced Naples to abandon preparations for the 1908 Olympic Games, which were instead held in London.  The most recent eruption, in 1944 , severely damaged over 75 American military aircraft stationed at a nearby World War II airfield.