ROME (AP) – A particularly spectacular explosion from Italy’s Etna volcano on Sunday threw a huge cloud of ash and lava stone over Sicilian villages, the latest in a series of explosions since mid-February.
Italy’s national institute of geophysics and volcanology, INGV, said the powerful explosion at 2 a.m. was the 10th such explosion since February 16, when Europe’s most active volcano began to emit an impressive demonstration of the power of nature’s fire, coloring the night sky in shocking shades of orange. And red.
Increasing tremors shook the mountain for much of the night. Ash and small lava stones rained down on eight villages on the slopes of Etna Sunday morning, while lava flowed from the southeastern crater slowly down an uninhabited side, as it has been doing for the past three weeks, the institute said. .
The column of ash and lava reached a height of 10,000 meters (33,000 feet) on Sunday, according to scientists monitoring volcanic activity with specialized instruments from an observatory on Etna in eastern Sicily.
Locals swept ash and lava stones from their steps and balconies. They have adopted covering cars parked outdoors with rugs, blankets, and cardboard sheets to facilitate cleanup after each explosion. The winds helped carry the ash to the east, INGV said.
No injuries or serious damage have been reported after the recent explosions. Geologically active, Etna occasionally gets particularly loud and explosive as it has been of late.
By midmorning, Etna’s last show of activity had slowed a bit with the end of the lava flow, although the volcano was still spewing a “weak ash emission” from the southeast crater. A few hours later, the volcanic tremors resumed, INGV said in a statement.
INGV scientists say there is no way to predict when this current round of particularly robust volcanic activity might decline.