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Sicily – Mount Etna erupts

Published on 24/12/2018

Sicily’s Mount Etna erupted on Monday with more than 130 earthquakes registered of up to 4.0 in magnitude, according to Italy’s INGV volcanology institute.

Lava is spewing from a fracture near its south-eastern crater in the volcano’s first serious eruption in over a decade. The biggest tremor was on the north-east side of the volcano, near Piano Pernicana, with another on the northern flank with intense eruptions from a new crater on the south-east side.

Catania airport was closed to air traffic this morning due to the ash cloud caused by a large explosion this morning, triggering the evacuation of dozens of villages.

Airport officials later reopened airspace allowing a limited number of landings but the Catania airport again will be closed should the situation becomes worse.

Seismic activity and ash production were easing off this afternoon

Mount Etna, at 3,300 metres high, is the biggest active volcano in Europe with eruptions recorded over the past 2,700 years. The most recent occurred in 2017 and the last major eruption was in the winter of 2008.

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