ROME (AP) – Mount Etna, the most active volcano in Europe, has impressed even experienced volcanologists in recent days with spectacular spurts of lava lighting up the Sicilian sky every night.
The last overnight eruption ended at about 9 am GMT on Tuesday, according to Italy’s National Institute of Geophysics and Volcanology.
For more than a week, Etna regularly spewed lava, ash and volcanic rocks. The nearby Catania airport has temporarily closed, and residents of the city of Pedara said that one day last week it looked like it was raining stones while a thick blanket of ash covered the city.
Volcanologist Boris Behncke, from the Etna observation center, from the national institute, followed the latest paroxysms with admiration. Writing on the institute’s website this week, he said that after “presenting us with moments of suspense” the previous nights, Etna finally exploded in a way that “those of us who have worked on it for decades rarely see it”.
Referring to the overnight activity, he tweeted on Tuesday: “Did I call the #Etna paroxysm of February 20-21 ‘incredibly powerful’? Well, his successor, on the night of February 22-23, was MUCH more powerful. ”
So far, there have been no reports of damage or injury.