ROME — Mount Etna, theSicily, evokes superlatives. It is volcano and also the continent’s most significant. And the fiery, noisy show of or weeks, even years every so often, is always super spectacular. Fortunately, Etna’s latest eruption captivating the , has caused neither injuries nor evacuation. But each , it wows onlookers and awes geologists who spend their careers monitoring it’s every quiver, rumble, and belch.
WHAT’S HAPPENING NOW?
On Feb. 16, Etna erupted, sending up high fountains of lava, whichthe uninhabited Bove Valley, which is five kilometers (three miles) wide and eight kilometers (five kilometers) iles) long. The stones that showered the southern side.
The activity has been continuing since, in bursts more or less intense. The flaming lavasky in shocking hues of orange and red. There’s no how long this round of exciting activity will last, say volcanologists who work at the Etna Observatory run by the National Institute of Geophysics and Volcanology.
While public fascination began with the first dramatic images this, the explosive activity started in September 2019, becoming stronger two months ago. The current activity principally involves the southeast crater, created in 1971 from a series of fractures.
HARD TO MISS
Etna towers 3,350 meters (around 11,050 feet) above sea level and is 35 kilometers (22 miles) in diameter, although the volcanic.
Occasionally, the airport at Catania, eastern Sicily’s largest city, has to close for hours or days whenin the area dangerous. Early in this recent spell of eruptive activity, the airport closed briefly.
But for pilots and passengers flying to and from Catania at night when the volcano is calmer, a glimpse of fiery red in the dark sky makes for an exciting sight.
LIVING WITH A VOLCANO
With Etna’slargely contained to its uninhabited slopes, life goes in towns and villages elsewhere on the mountain. Sometimes, like in , lava stones rain down on streets, bounce off cars and rattle roofs.
But many residents generally find that a. Lava flows have left fertile farmland. Apple and citrus trees flourish. Etna is Sicily’s most famous wines, from grapes grown on the volcanic slopes.
Tourism rakes in revenues. Hikers and backpackers enjoyand the sparkling Ionian Sea below. For skiers who want uncrowded slopes, Etna’s favorite.