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keywords: natural disasters, italy, volcano eruption, mt. vesuvius

Synopsis: Towns buried and scores perish when volcano Mr. Vesuvius in Italy erupts with torrents of molten lava pouring down its sides with amazing footage of a town being destroyed by the encroaching lava flows as Allied forces muster help and aid for the beleaguered victims of both WWII and this new natural disaster (2007-92f.txt)...(read more)

  • Date: 1944
  • Duration: 00:04:26
  • Sound: Yes
  • Color: Monochrome
  • Type: Public Domain
  • Language: English
  • Location: Italy

1944 Eruption Of Mt. Vesuvius

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1944 Eruption Of Mt. Vesuvius

Mt. Vesuvius, one of the land marks of the world, breaks into active eruption. Restive since its last marked violence in 1906, the volcano proceeds to make up for lost time. Clouds of gray sulphur smoke darken the sky. Rivers of molten lava roll off the crater, and down the slopes, at a temperature of 2,500 degrees. Walls of lave, 25 feet in height, move 12 feet a minute. Orchards and vineyards are frizzled.

The lava reaches the town of San Sebastiano (which nestles on the mountain’s side), and stone structures are pushed over like house-of-cards, then crushed. Frantic citizens race about, moving their belongings, helpless to resist the oncoming walls of fire. The patron Saints are appealed to, steam issues from fissures in the street, statues are pushed over, and the people are panic stricken.

Then the good offices of AMG steps in and feeds and cares for them. Within a radius of 30 miles, lava ash covers the countryside, as though a sand storm had gone berserk. G I’s and Italians shovel and bulldoze the ashes out of the streets to make them passable. We look back at Vesuvius and it is still belching—its smoke plume towering in the sky, mute, mysterious symbol of the destructive forces in nature.