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Mount Vesuvius Europe's most dangerous volcano: Study


A major eruption of Italy's Mount Vesuvius could generate more than $24 billion in total economic damages and kill 8,000 people, according to a survey released Thursday by London-based Willis Research Network.

That put Mount Vesuvius at the top of Europe's 10 most dangerous volcanoes, according to the network's “Insurance Risk from Volcanic Eruptions in Europe” report. According to the WRN, Mount Vesuvius presents the greatest risk to life and property among volcanoes within European territories, which included some European-ruled Caribbean islands.

With 1.7 million people exposed and $66.1 billion in exposed residential property, Vesuvius ranked first on the list. It also has the greatest potential for eruption among the 10 volcanoes.

Campi Flegrei, also in Italy, ranked second on the list, with exposed residential property values of $7.8 billion.

Iceland's Eyjafjallajokull volcano, which erupted Wednesday and created an ash plume that shut down air travel across northern Europe, did not make the top 10 list.

The WRN is an initiative funded by Willis Group Holdings Ltd. that marries scientific research with the needs of the insurance sector.