Mount Etna booms once more, sending up a towering volcano ash cloud

After a few months of relative calm, Mount Etna is back in full swing and has sent up a volcanic ash cloud 12 kilometers (12 miles) high over eastern Sicily.

Mount Etna booms once more, sending up a towering volcano ash cloud

According to the Italian National Institute of Geophysics and Vulcanology, the Etna lava flow, Europe's most active volcano, was located around the crater at the mountain's southeast slope.

There were no reports of any injuries or property damage in the inhabited villages that surround the volcano's slopes. This area is very popular among skiers, hikers and other tourists.

The institute stated that the lava flow from Etna had stopped by Monday afternoon. The institute had issued an alert for any aircraft flying in the area earlier in the day as Etna was erupting from its volcanic cloud.

The latest spectacular display of Etna's strength was the towering cloud visible from kilometers away. A powerful eruption that occurred in February sent lightning bolts across eastern Sicily's sky.

There have been many eruptions of Etna in its history. In 1669, in what is considered the worst known eruption of the volcano, lava submerged Catania, the largest city to the east of Sicily and destroyed dozens of villages.

In 1983, dynamite was employed to divert lava from towns. The army constructed an earthen wall in 1992 to stop the flow of lava from Etna, which had been flowing for months.


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