Italy’s Mount Etna, one of the world’s most active volcanoes, has been erupting this week, spewing fountains of lava and ash into the sky. After a powerful eruption on Tuesday (February 16, 2021) the volcano produced another spectacular display of fire Thursday (February 18), with tall lava fountains shooting into the night sky.
According to Volcano Discovery, which publishes frequent alerts about seismic activity, the volcano saw activity earlier Friday (February 19), but after about an hour with impressive fire fountains, the eruption quickly ceased and, although lava flows to the south and east continue to descend, the eruption is now over. Volcano Discovery’s most recent post said:
The tremor signal started its rapid dive back to lower values as the supply of the just erupted batch of gas-rich fresh magma has been exhausted, until another one arrives from deeper reservoirs, maybe very soon …
According to ESA, Tuesday’s eruption caused large lava flows to descend eastwards into the Valle del Bove for about 2.5 miles (4 km), but the second major explosion Thursday caused the lava also to run for almost a mile (1.3 km) down the volcano’s southern flanks.
Ash from the eruptions covered the city of Catania, which sits at the foot of Mt. Etna. Authorities have been monitoring developments in the nearby towns. The eruption forced the temporary closure of Sicily’s Catania Airport, which often happens when the volcano is active.
Bottom line: Italy’s Mount Etna, one of the world’s most active volcanoes, has erupted twice in less than 48 hours, spewing a fountain of lava and ash into the sky.
Eleanor Imster has helped write and edit EarthSky since 1995. She was an integral part of the award-winning EarthSky radio series almost since it began until it ended in 2013. Today, as Lead Editor at EarthSky.org, she helps present the science and nature stories and photos you enjoy. She also serves as one of the voices of EarthSky on social media platforms including Facebook, Twitter and G+. She and her husband live in Tennessee and have two grown sons.