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What is going on, on Mount Etna? After the last paroxysm, the one dated November 12th, the volcano seems to have changed its “style” for the umpteenth time. After an apparent return to calm, INGV volcanologists noticed – starting from November 19th – a strange “behavior”.

Etna imitates Stromboli

Anyone who has seen Stromboli knows that this volcano is constantly active. Its lava fountains repeat at almost identical intervals, every twenty to thirty minutes, with a limited power that is sometimes interrupted by gigantic eruptions.

Etna, on the other hand, has always had a more regular eruptive style. But in the last two weeks it has also been demonstrating alternating fountain activity. As happens on Stromboli, also on Etna the lava fountains explode for five or ten minutes and then, for long periods, calm reigns.

Confused signals or a precise direction?

On the personal Instagram page of volcanologist Boris Behncke we read: “Since November 19th Etna has been carrying out this type of activity, small series of Strombolian explosions. (…) Sooner or later something will change, but at the moment the Lady seems to like it very much with this type of activity”

In these cases man can do nothing but monitor, record the changes and try to “guess” the volcano’s intentions. At the moment Etna seems to “play” with the curiosity of tourists and residents, offering exciting flashes against a clear sky full of stars.

How will it evolve?

We cannot yet know how it will evolve. It could be a temporary activity, which however could last months, or it could all end suddenly. Another scenario could be a large eruption, as the signs seem to suggest, and for this reason everyone is on pre-alert, from civil protection to amateur photographers to simple tourists. Obviously high altitude ascents are currently suspended. But Etna manages to excite even from a distance. With the right zoom you can still admire a unique show. (PHOTO BY GRAZIA MUSUMECI)

Autore: Grazia Musumeci

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