Augusto Neri, of the National Geophysical and Vulcanology Institute in Pisa, has led the research on the eruption of Vesuvius volcano. A computer generated three dimensional simulation shows that the next eruption of Vesuvius volcano would kill 300,000 Italians if not evacuated beforehand.
Vesuvius has slept for more than six decades but the next eruption will be more harmful than the 1979 eruption, which suffocated the ancient cities of Pompeii and Herculaneum and killed about 16,000 people.
Authorities have a plan to evacuate more than half a million civilians living in the 18 towns within a 4-mile (7-kilometer) radius of Vesuvius who face the high risk.
Neri said that the first 3-D model was a major step forward, showing what a big eruption would look like over a period. It is the first time that such a complete model has been applied at Vesuvius.
Neri’s research is published in Geophysical Research Letters, could give authorities a greater understanding about the behavior of volcano in the event of a big eruption and which of the 18 communities need to be evacuated first.