Mount Etna In Sicily Has Erupted, And It May Be Just The Beginning

Sicily is currently experiencing tremors and ash clouds caused by a surge of activity caused by Etna. A sudden volcanic threat that is only being intensified by another volcano in the north of Sicily, Stromboli.

A double threat for Sicily. Since it could partially collapse at any moment and cause a devastating tsunami, Etna is a constant reminder to the millions of people that populate the surroundings of the millennial fear that exists: an eruption.

The National Italian Institute for Geology and Volcanology (INGV) has just announced a surge in activity in the famous Sicilian volcanic edifice that measures 3,300 meters high.

‘The eruption occurred on the side of Etna. It’s the first lateral eruption in more than 10 years,’ the Italian volcanologist Boris Behncke told AFP. Although this news is quite worrying, the specialist does say however that ‘it doesn’t seem to be dangerous.’

Disruptions to air traffic

The fact remains that the cloud caused by this upset in the magma forced authorities to restrict the air traffic over the local air space for a few hours, since the area was compromised by the ash that was projected from the crater. Flight landings at a nearby airport in Catania were also limited to just four every hour last Monday due to the lack of visibility.

This visual obstruction surrounding the volcano has made it difficult to precisely characterise the eruption and according to Boris Behncke, it is impossible right now to determine whether the cloud of ash is accompanied by lava or not. This event was quite palpable, and it was rather obvious from the seismic activity that it was going to happen.

By Monday, the INGV had already recorded around 130 tremors, with the most violent reaching a magnitude of 4 on the Richter scale. A series of earthquakes were recorded until Wednesday 26th December and they caused multiple injuries.

A sudden surge

During the night between the Tuesday and Wednesday, at 3h19 to be precise, another tremor shook the region and was recorded with a magnitude of 4.8 on the Richter scale. This earthquake was quite powerful and its hypocentre, also known as its focal point, was located about 1 kilometre from the surface and forced residents in the surrounding area to evacuate their homes in case of any sink-holes or collapses that followed.

According to the newspaper La Reppublica, ten people have been injured from these events, especially in the area of Fleri, where two residents were found buried under rubble but luckily, they were finally able to be removed. The road network also suffered some damages and also caused closures to a small part of the highway.

As well as this double, even triple threat from Etna made up of eruptive, seismic and potential collapses, there is now another threat posed by a neighbouring volcano called Stromboli, which has also recently erupted according to the AFP. It seems that New Year’s celebrations in Sicily are going to be quite eventful this year.

Let's hope a little less eventful than Christmas Eve, however.

Mount Etna just erupted, and you won't believe how violent it was Mount Etna just erupted, and you won't believe how violent it was