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Etna changes again and again, it becomes unpredictable. After two months of continuous paroxysms, at the rate of one every fifty hours, by mid-March it seems to have subsided. Long pauses, even of five or seven days, between one eruptive event and another. And each new event lasts up to fifteen hours, instead of the two we were used to.

The last one started on the evening of March 31st but evolved during the morning of April 1st. The South East Crater resumed the weak Strombolian activity already around 8 pm on the evening of 31  but immediately something new was recorded. A “thermal anomaly” or a strange rise in soil temperature on the south flank of the cone.

Soon after they found out why. From an ephemeral vent located right on that side, a copious flow of lava began to come out, which divided into two branches, one directed to the east and one to the southwest. At the same time the South East Crater resumed the powerful roars and the lava fountains that grew throughout the night. On the morning of April 1st, the activity is still very intense, there is also a cloud of light ashes heading south-west and forcing the Catania airport to close.

The roars continue until almost noon. The activity decreases only in the late afternoon. (photo G.Musumeci)

Autore: Grazia Musumeci

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