An "explosive activity" in the Bocca Nuova crater, on the Etna volcano, was observed on Thursday by the Italian National Institute of Geophysics and Volcanology (INGV) through the Catania observatory.
For now, there is no ash emission and, due to the wave of bad weather hitting the area, it is not possible to clearly visualize the smoke column.
However, the Civil Defense of the Sicily region issued a "red alert" in the Etna area for the "very high probability of imminent or ongoing fall of lava flows."
According to a note from the agency, the head of the Civil Defense, Salvo Cocina, invited the municipal leaders of the area to activate "the community operational centers and the structures themselves, in addition to volunteering, following the measures of the national plan."
The region of Sicily issued a "red alert" in the area of Etna. AP Photo
From the seismic point of view, the INGV reported that the amplitude of the volcanic tremor continues to increase, with peaks close to 2 degrees on the Richter scale.
In addition, a series of earthquakes are being recorded in the highest area of the largest active volcano in Europe. Clinometric variations were also recorded in the stations of the peaks of Punta Lucia and Pizzi Deneri and, since last Wednesday night, indications of a possible passage of magma through internal channels.
The authorities have not yet issued the alert for flights (Vona) with orange classification, the second highest, but for the moment there are no problems in departures and landings at the Vincenzo Bellini airport, located in Catania.
Etna's latest eruption began on November 27, 2022 and ended on February 14 this year.