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Etna gives no respite, and does not seem to have any itself. At 9 am on February 19, the volcano becomes restless to the point that the Institute of Volcanology immediately goes into alert. The signals are initially almost harmless … a few snorts, dancing tremors. Then everything suddenly increases, as is now “tradition”. At around 10.15 the explosions at high altitude – the South East Crater always protagonist become powerful and a gigantic ash and lapilli mushroom-shaped cloud begins to rise.

etna parox 2
the new explosion seen from Naxos Bay

Behind it the lava fountains are very high and accompanied by continuous roars (video here) that really sound like the roar of a dragon! Immediately afterwards the lava streams come out, the longest of which descends on the north-east side. Like the previous ones it runs aground in Valle del Bove after having traveled several meters in steep slope.

In recent days, between one paroxysm and another, the volcanic tremor curve has followed an anomalous trend. Oscillations worthy of a seismograph  do not let us understand the “intentions” of Etna. However, the monitoring work of volcanologists continues incessantly and extremely efficient. The updates will continue to check how the situation evolves, which at the moment does not seem destined to calm down yet.

We remember that Etna is always active and lively, but that in the last two years it has manifested a radical change that is expressed with these surprising and fascinating eruptive phenomena. Currently, three major paroxysms have occurred in a week, a completely new style that ignites the interest and passion of professionals … and not.

(photo by Grazia Musumeci – the video is by Salvatore Lo Giudice)

Autore: Grazia Musumeci

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