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The Daily Volcano Quote: an extinct volcano not a safe neighbour 5 May 2009

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We likewise forget, in these cool districts of the earth, that we are not quite beyond the hazard of subterranean fire. There are numberless extinct volcanoes in both Britain and France; there are some on the banks of the Rhine; indeed, they are thick-sown everywhere. Now an extinct volcano is not quite so safe a neighbour as many may suppose. Vesuvius was an extinct volcano from time immemorial till the year 63, when it suddenly broke out again, and soon after destroyed Pompeii and Herculaneum; since which time it has never again subsided into entire inactivity. Suppose Arthur’s Seat, which is ‘within a mile of Edinburgh town’ were to recommence business in like manner, we should like to know at how many years’ purchase house property in that beautiful New Town would be selling next day. Yet what is there about an old volcano there more than an old volcano in Italy, to give assurance that its means of annoyance and destruction are extinguished?

‘A possible event — dangers of our planet’, The National Magazine, November 1854, p. 435.

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