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Roars, puffs, column of ash…! It all seemed over but as we often say… it’s Etna that decides. And always surprising.

And so the eruptive activity of the Voragine crater (video by Michele Mammino here) after about 24 hours of pause resumed with force around 2 am on July 7th, to continue until 9 am with a crescendo of very violent explosions. The noise of the gas expulsion, plus the air movement, were truly important and – as a tradition, for this crater – had an echo throughout almost all of eastern Sicily.

The Official Statement

The INGV press release states that:…. from the analysis of the INGV-OE surveillance cameras it was observed that the lava fountain activity of the Voragine Crater began at approximately 02:00 UTC and reported in the previous press release, it gradually weakened and then ceased around 08:00 UTC. After the end of the paroxysmal activity, Strombolian activity continued for about an hour, which also gradually weakened. The paroxysmal activity produced an eruptive column approximately 9000 m high above sea level, which spread in an eastward direction, causing a significant fallout of ash on several villages in the eastern Etna area along the Zafferana Etnea – Giarre axis. The activity also produced, at 06:50 UTC, a lava flow that currently appears to be fed and which overflowed from the north-western rim of the Bocca Nuova crater. The altitude of the front is approximately 3000 m above sea level. Sporadic ash emissions from the South East Crater were also observed, one of which at 9:41 UTC, which rapidly dispersed into the atmosphere. Field surveys by INGV personnel are underway.The average amplitude of the volcanic tremor reached its maximum values ??between 03:00 and 06:20 UTC today. Subsequently, a rapid decrease in values ??was observed.

Roars of the Voragine: reactions

The loud explosions that shook the cities at the foot of Mount Etna were a cause of fear for many, of excitement for many others. The tourists who were on site at the time of the eruption reacted first with amazement, then with emotion when faced with a phenomenon that few have experienced. There is no shortage of initiatives by guides to bring tourists up to admire the eruption from closer, although a safe distance is still maintained from the summit craters, to which access is currently prohibited. Among the locals, there is the discontent of the typical annoyances of the volcano but also the exhilaration for the beauty of a unique spectacle.

The ash

A crater as large as the Voragine ejects significant quantities of material into the sky. The “plume”, or the eruptive column of ash, rose really high, so the wind dispersed it between Acireale and Riposto, then transporting it to the Ionian Sea. Suffering the most damage from the fallout of the black powder: Giarre, Zafferana and Milo.

The eruption continues, although at times there appear to be long pauses. (PHOTO BY G. MUSUMECI)

Autore: Grazia Musumeci

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