Spectacular Mount Etna eruptions baffle volcano scientists

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Mount Etna is erupting for the fifth time in 5 days. Amazing! Picture via Twitter

Europe’s most active volcano has been erupting for more than a week, creating spectacular images of lava, ash and volcanic rocks lighting up the Sicilian sky at night.

Mount Etna’s latest eruption overnight petered out on Tuesday morning, according to Italy’s National Institute for Geophysics and Volcanology.

Rivers of lava were seen gushing from the volcano’s southeast crater, with clouds of debris rising several kilometres above its summit.

The red and orange glow of the magma resulted in mesmerising photographs. Nearby Catania Airport was forced to close temporarily due to the amount of ash being spewed forth from Mount Etna.

Residents in the town of Pedara said during one day last week, it appeared as though it were raining rocks as a thick blanket of ash covered the town.

A number of Sicilians in view of the volcano and its huge clouds of ash posted photos and videos of the phenomenon, describing it was “majestic” and “spectacular”.

Volcanologist Boris Behncke, of the national institute’s Etna observation centre, said the volcano had been “gifting us moments of suspense” over the past few nights.

He wrote on the institute’s website that Etna’s final eruption happened in a way that “those of us who have worked in this for decades have rarely seen.”

He tweeted on Tuesday: “Did I call the 20-21 February paroxysm of Etna ‘incredibly powerful? Well, its successor, in the night of 22-23 February, was MUCH more powerful.

In a separate tweet, he posted a slow-mo video of Etna’s eruption overnight, adding: “Amazingly tall (more than 1,500m) lava fountains and spectacular ‘fountain fan’ during Etna’s violent paroxysm during the night of 22-23 February.

The intense activity of Sicily’s Mount Etna continues. A few days ago it erupted for the fourth time in four days.

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  1. Revelation8:8 then the second angel blew his trumpet, and a great mountain of fire was thrown into the sea. One-third of the water in the sea became blood

  2. Nice pix
    Pretty tremendous lava flow. Good thing the people aren’t BBQ’d. Be nice to have a fishing boat, and watch the action from the sea.

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