The Canadian Armed Forces has garnered positive headlines in Canada for humanitarian aid work around the world, saving lives, providing food and shelter, and treating the ill and injured after great natural and man-made disasters.
But sometimes the CAF’s less dramatic contributions go practically unnoticed in its own country. Such is the story of Operation Sarno in 1998.
Throughout history, the landscape in the Campania region of Italy, near Naples, has been shaped by volcanic activity.
Rivers of molten rock snaked across the land after eruptions. Volcanic gases seeped into groundwater, eating away at underground rocks and turning them to clay. Layer upon unstable layer of rock and lava debris built up through the millennia and were slowly covered by soil.
Over a period of 10 hou...