On August 24 in the year ad 79, a great eruption of Mount Vesuvius began; the top of the mountain was blown off by an explosion, and the cities of Herculaneum, Pompeii, and Stabiae were overwhelmed by a rain of ashes and mud. At least 2,000 people were killed, with some death-toll estimates running as high as 20,000. The eruption in 79 is the most famous, but Vesuvius has a very active history. An eruption in 1631 destroyed five towns and caused the deaths of more than 3,000 people. In 1794 a violent eruption destroyed the town of Torre del Greco. Following numerous smaller eruptions, a violent eruption took place in April 1906, lasting ten days and causing great destruction and the loss of 2,000 lives. Smaller eruptions occurred in 1913, 1926, 1929, and 1944.