Stromboli, the big eruption. Should we really fear volcanoes?



If you are reading this page you have already given yourself the answer. No, we shall not be afraid to climb a volcano. But after the terrible events of 3 July 2019, the very violent eruption that shook the island of Stromboli causing fires, injuries and even a one dead … you may be wondering if it is not as risky to climb Mt Etna.

The answer is no, if you rely on common sense and on your guides.

Etna also occasionally emits very tall columns of ash and stones, taking you by surprise. But unlike Stromboli, our volcano is over 3000 meters high and this means that there are almost always strong winds, at the top, which disperse the  volcanic material away.

foto j nasiMt.Etna and Stromboli are both constantly monitored, but on  Etna such powerful explosions are continuous, while for the small Aeolian volcano they are rare. So if there were such a large gas lift – like the one that devastated Stromboli – the instruments would perceive it in time to block high-level excursions.

Finally, the guides of Etna take you at the craters by jeep and minibuses, something that cannot be done on Stromboli. In case of a sudden emergency, you can be quickly in a safe place.

Finally, and it is the most important advice of all, ALWAYS obey your guides. If the excursion is canceled, do not protest. There is always a reason if they decide you should not go up to the craters. AND DON’T ADVENTURE BY YOURSELVES, because a volcano is a living body and absolutely unpredictable. It must be respected and feared as a god. (the photos are: by Kuhnimi – the lava fountain at the top, and by Joseph Nasi)


The author: Grazia Musumeci