Mount Etna eruption causes airspace closure

December 24, 2018
Still erupting after 2,700 years or more

The Mount Etna volcano erupted on Monday, spewing ash as several minor earthquakes hit the region, and prompting a partial closure of the Sicilian airspace around the mountain.

Italy's national institute for geophysics and vulcanology (INGV) counted more than 130 in the zone, with the strongest reaching a magnitude of 4.0.

"The eruption occurred on the side of Etna," Boris Behncke, a vulcanologist at INGV, told AFP. "It's the first lateral eruption in more than 10 years, but it doesn't seem to be dangerous."

Due to bad visibility because of the ash authorities restricted local airspace, allowing only four landings per hour Monday afternoon at the eastern Sicilian airport of Catania.

Visibility was still too poor to determine whether the eruption was accompanied by lava, Behncke said.

At any rate, both the and ash production appeared to be diminishing in the afternoon, he said.

Mount Etna, 3,300 metres high, is the biggest active volcano in Europe, with frequent eruptions recorded in the past 2,700 years.

Its most recent eruptions occurred in the spring of 2017 and its last major in the 2008/2009 winter.

Air traffic was restricted over Catania

At the end of March a study published in the Bulletin of Volcanology said that Etna is slowly sliding towards the Mediterranean—at a constant pace of 14 millimetres per year.

Explore further: Mount Etna volcano roars into action with ash and lava

Related Stories

Mt. Etna found to be sliding downhill towards the sea

March 26, 2018

A small team of researchers from the U.K and France has found evidence indicating that Sicily's Mt. Etna is sliding very slowly downhill toward the sea. In their paper published in Bulletin of Volcanology, the group describes ...

Recommended for you

Paleontologists report world's biggest Tyrannosaurus rex

March 22, 2019

University of Alberta paleontologists have just reported the world's biggest Tyrannosaurus rex and the largest dinosaur skeleton ever found in Canada. The 13-metre-long T. rex, nicknamed "Scotty," lived in prehistoric Saskatchewan ...

NASA instruments image fireball over Bering Sea

March 22, 2019

On Dec. 18, 2018, a large "fireball—the term used for exceptionally bright meteors that are visible over a wide area—exploded about 16 miles (26 kilometers) above the Bering Sea. The explosion unleashed an estimated 173 ...

Coffee-based colloids for direct solar absorption

March 22, 2019

Solar energy is one of the most promising resources to help reduce fossil fuel consumption and mitigate greenhouse gas emissions to power a sustainable future. Devices presently in use to convert solar energy into thermal ...


Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

2.6 / 5 (5) Dec 24, 2018
Adding to the proposed climate change?
5 / 5 (2) Dec 25, 2018
"Adding to the proposed climate change?"

5 / 5 (2) Dec 25, 2018
For all you denialist woobots, here is the image your limited intellects need to consider.

You are standing near a hill.
A sudden rock-slide rolls down & over you. A natural event. Recent ice thawing or a spate of rain storms or a quake, perhaps from a volcano.
All natural events.

I realize that you cannot comprehend that those rock slides are becoming more frequent & causing greater damage.

You woobots are programed to deny inconvenient realities.

However your clearcutting & roadwork are adding "unnatural" causes to "natural" causes to increase the frequency & damage from the hillside collapsing.

Just to emphasis the effect of anthropophagic activities? I see where you are trying to crawl out from the slide. I rev up my skiploader. "Pedal to the metal, baby!"

Race over to your position & dump a full load of rock onto your quivering body.

Now if we accept your woobot "logic"? As the driver, I cannot be held responsible. The rock I dumped is "natural".

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.