TRANSFEERO: Reliable airport transfers worldwide
Book a private transfer at over 1500 airports, stations and ports worldwide

Volcanologists had said it right away, when the volcano seemed to fall asleep in April. Mount Etna activity is not over, it is only on hiatus for some time. How much time? It is not known, it is the volcano that decides, as it always has. And in fact, after two months of apparent stillness and a decline in all values, Etna started again at dawn on May 19, 2021. In an anomalous way, however.

Many people have associated this “silent” eruption with a delicate tribute to the death of the musician Franco Battiato, the very famous “son of Etna” and its inhabitant for many years. But science cannot be explained by feelings. Even when it appears inexplicable.

New eruptive situation: the “silent” activity

In the night between 18 and 19 May, without any warning, the so-called “Bocca della Sella”, the crater that opened some time ago between the South East and New South East cones, returned to activity. This vent seemed to have given everything it could give and looked like extinguished.

Instead, activity has resumed in a surprising way. Hardly any volcanic tremors, very short notice time between the rise in values ??and the explosion. Immediately after, a series of loud roars, the ash cloud that was

etna new eruptive style02
lava fountains start and end at once

directed on Milo and Giarre and the lava fountains with a small stream directed to the west. Not even volcanologists expected this new eruptive situation. And just as surprisingly, the lava fountains ran out around 7 am. No decrease, just a sharp “off”. And everything was quiet again.

Unusual new eruptive activity

Volcanologists continue to say that this Etna activity is not at all strange, it has already been seen in the past. But many inhabitants do not remember such particular eruptions, before. Lava fountains that start without warning and go off abruptly, as if someone pushed an internal switch. The eruption lasts very little, one or two hours at the most, with strong explosions, roars, ash and very little lava. The second episode, on May 21 evening, started and ended in the same way.

What does Etna mean now? How is its eruptive activity changing? The volcano is in constant transformation. And if before it erupted a few times a year, producing long flows that lasted months, between 2012 and 2018 it “performed” in violent and rapid eruptions. Since 2019 it had surprised again with frequent, short and ash-rich eruptions. Today a further typology of events makes this brand new eruptive activity interesting.

Etna and Stromboli eruptive situation

At the same time, Stromboli has also resumed its activity with decision. A “major explosion” affected the volcano in the afternoon of 19th May with high ash clouds and a pyroclastic flow that reached the sea. A lava stream began immediately to flow down, making red lights along the “Sciara del Fuoco” down to the water of the Tyrrhenian Sea.

Stromboli calls on the one hand, Etna responds and vice versa. There is no connection, according to the INGV scientists, only coincidences of two very active and lively volcanoes. But it is certain that the strangeness of these tandem events remains.

And if you combine this with the hyper volcanic activity of many other volcanoes on Earth – including the African Nyiragongo, that woke up after 40 years! –  the impression is that the whole planet is moving. In which direction it is early to know. Certainly Etna and Stromboli with their activities are indicators of changes that help to understand the evolution of the beating heart of the world. (photos by Grazia Musumeci)

Autore: Grazia Musumeci

Airport Transfers