Saturday, May 12, 2007

Mount Etna has lava eruption!

Mount Etna, the highest active volcano in Europe, is once again registering seismic tremors and spewing lava down the mountain side but so far there is no threat to residents, the volcanology institute in Catania, Sicily said.

“Since 8:00 pm (1800 GMT) Sunday,” the institute said it had registered an increase in volcanic tremors as well as an “explosive activity at the summit of the crater.”

Overnight Sunday to Monday, a gash opened in Etna’s side, allowing molten lava to spill down the mountain, but the white-hot fluid was so far not threatening inhabited areas, according to the institute.

Etna experienced similar eruptions in March and April, and last December the nearby airport of Catania had to be closed at night for two weeks because of ash blown into the atmosphere by volcanic activity.

Etna’s last major eruption was in mid-2001.

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