Magazine cover sparks Vesuvius alarm

August 31, 2007

A front-page story about Italy's Mount Vesuvius in National Geographic sparked panicked calls to a Vesuvius civil defense hotline.

The story, picked up by Italian television and radio news, claimed that current evacuation plans wouldn't get people out in time if the volcano erupted as it did in A.D. 79, ANSA said Thursday.

National Geographic said evacuation plans had not been significantly updated in the past five years, but officials in Naples said the plan was revised last year.

Italian volcano expert Franco Barberi said that even in a worst-case scenario, the plan would enable the threatened populace to be smoothly evacuated, ANSA said.

About 1 million people live and work in the area around Vesuvius.

Copyright 2007 by United Press International

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