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The dawn of May 19th on Mount Etna started with a weird eruption. Not even volcanologists expected it, it came so suddenly and almost without any warning signal. As the note released by Dr. Boris Behncke of the INGV indicates:

“A completely unexpected and slightly different episode of lava fountains. Surprisingly, around midnight (local time) the” Saddle Vent “at the Southeast Crater was reactivated, and until dawn it gave a sublime spectacle, without the drama of the February-April paroxysms. Instead it was almost sweet, tender. “

fr battiato
singer Franco Battiato

Popular imagination immediately attributed this strange episode to a “greeting”, a sort of “homage”  the volcano wanted to pay to one of its most famous inhabitants – the philosopher and musician Franco Battiato. The Maestro died the previous day at the age of 76, there  in his Etnean home in Milo – and it would be just a coincidence if it ended there. But the perplexity of volcanologists themselves turns the entire episode into magic. Certainly Etna is not new to these surprises. But almost always they are accompanied by variations of the tremor which this morning, however, there was not. The eruption lasted just over 4 hours and went extinct as it began. Softly, silently.

After two months of total silence, these bright fountains of fire at the dawn of the day of farewell to Battiato recall one of his historical songs -Veni L’Autunnu . Especially the lyrics “sparaunu i bummi, subra a Nunziata; n’cielu fochi di culuri, n’terra aria bruciata ” (fireworks over the village of Nunziata; colours in the sky, burnt air on the ground). Colours in the sky and burnt air that the volcano really wanted to give to the memory of this poet. (photo of the eruption by Grazia Musumeci)

Autore: Grazia Musumeci

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