The story of Pompeii is one that has been told many times, but little is known about its sister city, Herculaneum, which was also destroyed by a violent eruption from Mount Vesuvius. Citizens of these cities were unaware of the fatal danger that awaited them once this volcano exploded. This eruption took place in the year 79 A.D., a time when there were no geological records. All the people of these towns knew was oral history, which didn’t record any volcanic eruption. There had been a few rumblings in 64 A.D., but nobody knew what it could be.
The afternoon of August 24, the huge column of smoke was made visible, and most people took for the ocean, gathering what valuables they could. Those who had not ran gathered on the beach, and witnessed an awesome sight of the cloud 19 miles in the air. They were instantly dead of thermal shock; not of slow suffocation as most scientists assumed until just a few decades ago.