Europe’s tallest active volcano has been spewing lava for three weeks — and now its raining stones and ash on the villages below
Il Mondo dei Terremoti/Twitter
Mount Etna, Europe’s tallest active volcano, let out its tenth big blast in the last three weeks on March 7.
- The eruption led to lava stones and ash raining down on the Silician towns located on its slopes.
- The governor of Sicily Nello Musumeci has declared a state of emergency in the most affected villages.
AdvertisementItaly’s famed active volcano, Etna, has been spewing lava for over three weeks. On Sunday, March 7, the fiery mountain on the eastern coast of Sicily let out its tenth big blast of the season since February 16. Only this time, it also rained down ash and small lava stones on the town nearby.
Questa mattina è avvenuto il decimo parossismo al cratere di sud-est dell'#Etna in poco meno di tre settimane.Que… https://t.co/5sttfQGAe8— Il Mondo dei Terremoti (@mondoterremoti) 1615117847000
At nearly 3,324 meters above sea level, Etna is the tallest active volcano in Europe. According to Italy's National Institute of Geophysics and Volcanology (INGV), the giant exploded at approximately 2:00 am local time, pushing the column of ash and lava to a height of 10,000 metres.
The lava down below did not change direction and continues to flow from the southeast crater — down the side of the volcano that does not house any residents. “This activity is still ongoing and the INGV is constantly monitoring its development,” the agency said in a statement.
However, the blast did result in ash and small lava stones causing damage to eight villages along Etna’s slopes. Sicily’s governor Nello Musumeci has declared a state of crisis in the most affected regions, according to a local news outlet Tg2.
One of these regions is Giarre, where the photos show streets covered in ash and lava stones that broke through windows. According to Musumeci, new vehicles will be brought in to help clear the roads.
Queste sono due foto che sono state scattate proprio a Giarre, un comune ubicato nella parte orientale del vulcano.… https://t.co/UNUEoWGTBc— Il Mondo dei Terremoti (@mondoterremoti) 1615117931000
The lull before the storm
There is nothing new about Etna spewing out volcanic ash, molten rocks and lava. On this day, in 1669, an eruption at Mount Etna killed 20,000 people.
However, this time something is different. According to INGV’s Marco Neri, Etna’s most recent explosions have been “most violent in the Southeast Crater's young history.”
As long as the eruptions remain at the current intensity and lava comes from the summit rather than the sides of the volcano, the risk to surrounding communities is small. But history shows that periods of intense activity are almost always followed by lateral eruptions that open up mouths on the flank of the volcano — sometimes at low elevations.
Advertisement“That means there is a concrete possibility that lava could directly affect an urbanised area, as has happened numerous times in the past,” said Neri. In 1983, engineers used dynamite to divert lava away from homes. And, in 1992, the army had to build an earthen wall to protect one of the village’s on Etna’s slopes.
Google announces a series of initiatives on Women’s day – a $25 million fund, support for one million female entrepreneurs in India and a new feature on Google Maps
India likely to launch its 'eye in the sky' satellite GISAT-1 on March 28 to monitor borders and natural disasters
Popular on BI
- A millennial who became a millionaire after the 2008 crash says building wealth is about more than opportunistic investing. You also have to make lifestyle changes and load up on side hustles.
- OnePlus Nord CE 3 leaks ahead of launch – specs, expected launch date and more
- A 53-year-old longevity researcher says his 'biological age' is a decade younger thanks to 4 daily habits — but the science behind them is mixed
- Learning AI can be lucrative: Freshers’ annual pay is ₹10-14 lakh in India, says TeamLease Digital report
- CoCo bonds fall sharply over Credit Suisse deal
- Date night conversations to diet charts – 10 things ChatGPT can help you with
- Gold is bankable, shines more than some western banks say experts
- Fear of financial crisis is keeping investors away from stock markets say experts