ROME (AP) – Etna, Europe’s most active volcano, has impressed even seasoned volcanologists in recent days with spectacular lava jets illuminating the Sicilian sky every night.
The last eruption overnight stopped around 9:00 a.m. GMT on Tuesday, according to the Italian National Institute of Geophysics and Volcanology.
For more than a week, Etna has been regularly spitting lava, ash and volcanic rocks. Nearby Catania airport has temporarily closed and residents of the town of Pedara said it appeared one day last week as if it was raining stones as a thick layer of ash blanketed the town.
The volcanologist Boris Behncke from the Etna observation center of the national institute followed the latest paroxysms with admiration. Writing on the institute’s website this week, he said that after “giving us moments of suspense” over the previous nights, Etna finally erupted in a way that “those of us who have worked in this field for decades have seldom seen it ”.
Referring to the overnight activity, he tweeted on Tuesday, “Did I call the February 20-21 climax of #Etna incredibly powerful?” Well, his successor, on the night of February 22-23, was MUCH more powerful. “
So far no damage or injury has been reported.