Vesuvius eruption in 1944 DC

The eruption of Vesuvius happened in 1944 was not as violent as the 79 AD eruption that destroyed Herculaneum and Pompeii. Fortunately, the eruption of Vesuvius in 1944 was sub-Plinian, i.e. of moderate energy, and the lava only reached two villages: Massa and San Sebastiano. Unfortunately, 26 victims were recorded. This is a very low number considering the danger posed by Vesuvius (Vesuvius is known to be the most dangerous volcano in the world).

What happened during the eruption of Vesuvius in 1944

The eruption took place in March-April 1944. In addition to the hardship and despair caused by the Second World War, the volcano put these areas to the test. As evidence of the eruption of Vesuvius in 1944, the last eruption of the volcano, we have archive videos of American cameramen. The latter were sent to Italy to film the war and the Allied army occupying the city of Naples at the time, and they also captured this eruption.

After several warnings, Vesuvius began to erupt on the afternoon of 18 March 1944. Its activity was characterised by strong lava flows and incandescent fountains of lava rose from the crater to a height of 800 metres. The eruption of Vesuvius in 1944 caused 26 victims, due to the collapse of the roofs of the houses; collapses caused by the weight of the hot ashes. The towns most damaged by the falling pyroclastic deposits were Terzigno, San Sebastiano, Pompei, Scafati, Angri, Nocera Inferiore, Nocera Superiore, Pagani, Poggiomarino and Cava. Naples was not touched by the cloud caused by the volcano’s eruption, protected by the direction of the winds that pushed the cloud of ash and lapilli away from the city.

During the first phase of Vesuvius’ eruption in 1944, dust fell copiously onto the ground. Teams of Allied soldiers were sent to clear the streets. Military installations were feared for and the work of cleaning the roads allowed traffic to flow again.

The town most affected by the eruption of Vesuvius in 1944 was the village of San Sebastiano.

Faith was relied upon to avert a catastrophe, but it was of no use because the lava flow did not stop and destroyed the village. The American Major Lewis, who was there during the eruption, told how surprised he was to see the whole village in a religious procession. He told of how the local people, moved by faith, went to meet the lava, singing the ‘Te Deum’ and carrying the town’s patron saint, Saint Sebastian, in front of the procession.

Even the statue of San Gennaro was sent from Naples, in great secrecy, to prevent the worshippers of San Sebastiano, the town’s patron saint, from resenting it. In fact, the procession only recorded the presence of the statue of San Sebastiano.

At the end of the 1944 eruption, Vesuvius entered a phase of inactivity that still lasts today.