IN PHOTOS: A month of spectacular eruptions at Sicily’s Mount Etna

Streams of lava and plumes of smoke and ash rose high above Mount Etna early on Friday morning as the volcano erupted for the 12th time in little under a month.

IN PHOTOS: A month of spectacular eruptions at Sicily's Mount Etna
Smoke rises from Mount Etna on Tuesday evening. Photo: Meagan Huddleston

Experts insist that the increased activity recently is not unusual or concerning – after all, Etna is one of the world’s most active volcanoes. 

A view of Mount Etna from Giarre, north of Catania, Sicily. Photo by Giovanni Isolino/AFP
“We’ve seen worse,” the head of the INGV National Institute for Geophysics and Vulcanology in the nearby city of Catania, Stefano Branco, told Italian news agency AGI on February 16th.

The airport in nearby Catania was closed on February 16th as volcanic activity covered the nearby area in ash.

Branco insisted that the activity was “not at all worrying”.

Many such eruptions in the past have shut down the airport and covered Catania in ash.
Emergency authorities said that they were monitoring the situation closely in the three villages at the foot of the volcano: Linguaglossa, Fornazzo and Milo.

Images on the 16th showed a spectacular rose-coloured plume of ashes above the snow-capped summit, but the cloud had largely dissipated by nightfall, while lava flows continued to glow.

At 3,324 metres (nearly 11,000 feet), Etna is the tallest active volcano in Europe and has erupted frequently in the past 500,000 years.

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