day dawned bright and sunny
AUGUST 23, A.D. 79. The day dawned bright and sunny as usual and seemed full of promise. The citizens of Pompeii went about their daily business, blissfully unaware of what destiny had in store for them. They were totally unprepared when late in the evening their world erupted in a pyroclastic flow - of molten lava, pumice, ash, hot stones and debris, suffocating, singeing, charring and melting everything that lay in its path as a river of fire gushed out in primordial fury down the slopes of Mount Vesuvius. Pompeii and its 20,000 inhabitants were buried alive in an instant.