Italy's most active volcano erupts again: On Sunday evening (21 May), Mount Etna shoots a dense ash cloud into the air over Sicily; and thus causes flight cancellations.
Update from May 22, 10:26 a.m.: Cars and roads are covered with a dark black layer after the volcanic eruption. The 3,330-meter-high volcano Etna in Sicily hurled ash and pea-sized pyroclasts, so-called lapilli, into the sky. Due to the explosive volcanic eruption and ash cloud, nearby Catania Airport suspended all take-offs and landings for safety reasons. Since 9 a.m. on Monday morning, operations have been running again with restrictions, the "Aeroporto di Catania - Sicilia" announced on its Facebook page. However, passengers should continue to be prepared for delays.
Volcanic eruption in Italy: Where is the lava flow of Mount Etna in Sicily? Hoping for better weather
After volcanic eruption in Italy, there is a lava flow from the crater on Mount Etna from the southeast side. Experts are closely monitoring the situation of the erupted volcano in Sicily. But clouds block the view of the volcano's summit. An exact position of the lava front is not yet possible, reports the Italian news agency Ansa, citing the National Institute of Geophysics and Volcanology. The "eruption phenomenon" can therefore be considered complete. It was a huge lava fountain with an eruption column over 10 kilometers high that lasted for over a few hours, tweets volcanologist Boris Behncke.
On May 18, 2023, the Italian Civil Protection raised "Yellow Alert for the Etna volcano". Since there is a "low to medium eruption activity". The alert levels – green, yellow, orange and red – describe the state of activity of the volcano. Yellow alert promotes a better exchange between science and civil protection structures.
Volcanic eruption in Italy: Mount Etna in Sicily – the most active volcano in Europe
Mount Etna is 3,330 meters high and lies in the collision zone between the Eurasian Plate and the African Plate on the island of Sicily.
The volcano Etna can erupt spectacularly several times a year, hurling lava and ash high above the Mediterranean island.
The last major eruption occurred in 1992. But again and again Mount Etna erupts briefly. It is a natural spectacle when the volcano is haunted by fire and ash. Especially at night, shots of it are always impressive.
The name Etna comes from the Greek "Aitne" and means: "I burn".
First storm, now volcanic eruption in Italy: Etna paralyzes flight operations in Sicily
First reported on May 22, 2023
Catania – After the eruption of Mexico's highest volcano Popocatépetl at the weekend, Mount Etna now seems to have awakened again. The volcano on Italy's Mediterranean island of Sicily has reportedly shown increased activity since early Sunday morning (May 21), according to the National Institute of Geophysics and Volcanology. In the evening, the volcano rained ash.
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Etna spews ash: planes can neither take off nor land due to volcanic eruption in Sicily
The volcanic eruption has consequences for the airspace in Sicily: Flight operations at the nearby airport of Catania have been suspended. A security measure. Because the runway of the CTA airport, located at the foot of Mount Etna, had been polluted by ash rain, it said in a statement. Flight operations will resume when "safety conditions are restored".
Volcano Etna on the Italian Mediterranean island of Sicily spewed ash on Sunday evening, paralyzing air traffic in the region for the time being. © Salvatore Allegra/dpa
It is not yet known whether the volcanic eruption could also have an impact on take-offs and landings at other airports. In 2011, the eruption of Grímsvötn in Iceland paralyzed air traffic across Europe for several days. Thousands of travelers were stranded worldwide due to the dense ash cloud in European airspace.
In addition to storms, now also volcanic eruption: civil protection in Sicily alerted
As reported by the daily newspaper Repubblica, a loud rumble has been heard in the region since the early hours of the morning, and increased activity has been measured. Due to the weather and thick clouds around the volcano's summit, the eruption could not be seen for a long time, said the National Institute of Geophysics and Volcanology.
Images and videos showed on social networks and in the local media how Mount Etna spewed ash in the evening. It was also possible to see how cars and roads in the area around the cities of Catania and Adrano were covered by the ash rain. Residents reported locally raining down ash and dust on the Telegram platform.
To be on the safe side, the Italian Civil Protection declared an orange alert. So far, there have been no reports of damage or injuries caused by the outbreak. Meanwhile, in large parts of the country, the highest red alert level continues to apply due to the devastating storm; Sicily was also affected by the heavy rains, which led to floods and landslides in many places. (dpa/rku)