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The fifteenth paroxysm of Etna was announced at dawn on March 19 with two very strong “booms” that surprised the piedmont populations, from behind the clouds of rain and snow that hid the volcano. As usual, shortly thereafter, the roars, the lava fountains and the rain of black ash began which this time affected the northern belt – Piedimonte, San Giovanni Montebello, Giardini Naxos, Taormina. In particular the beaches of Naxos have turned black, creating an anomalous spectacle in the panorama.

giardini naxos
photo by MC Paravia

Have the paroxysms ended?

After the last outburst, however, Etna seems to have reached a balance of relative quiet. A series of seismic tremors concentrated in the area of ??Sant’Alfio and Puntalazzo, between Saturday night and Sunday morning. This led to the hypothesis of a rapid deflation of the volcano. The re-entry movement actually may have triggered some faults.

And if the volcano deflates perhaps it means that the season of explosive paroxysms is over.  The system is returning to a calm situation. Unless more magma rises from the depth, making the whole thing restart. This could happen in a few days, but also in a few months. Depending on the times of Etna which are always unpredictable and surprising.

A great explosive show

In total, Etna produced fifteen explosive events (eighteen if we also count the minor ones that occurred inside the craters) in less than 30 days. A series of fire shows that were repeated almost at the rate of one every 48 hours. For volcanologists this was the long-awaited “great eruption” . Luckily it did not occur on the flank, at low altitude. If it is all over now, the danger can be said to have been avoided. If, on the other hand, it resumes, it will be necessary to reconsider the new conditions that will then arise. Etna always remains one of the most monitored volcanoes in the world. (photo above the title by: Grazia Musumeci)

Autore: Grazia Musumeci

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