Dozens of hikers on Japan’s Mount Ontake in late 2014 were caught in the middle of a pyroclastic volcanic flow that ended up claiming the lives of 47 people. Among the deceased were Izumi Noguchi, a photographer whose final pictures captured the pyroclastic flow higher up the mountain.
Pyroclastic flows can move up to 400 mph and reach up to 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit. Imagine winds twice as fast as an F5 hurricane heated by the explosive furnace of a volcano’s caldera. So, yeah…it is pretty serious stuff!
This is exactly Pompeii went from being a bustling trade hub of the Roman Empire to a museum of dead bodies? In 1902 the city of St. Pierre in the Caribbean lost 30,000 people due to a pyroclastic flow that virtually wiped out the city.
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