Disasters & Accidents

Mount Etna’s alert raised to ‘yellow’ due to medium eruptive activity

Rome, 17 Nov (EFE).- The authorities in Sicily, the southern Italian island, raised the warning level for Mount Etna to ‘yellow’ meaning a low to medium risk of eruptive activity.

Raising the alert level from “green” (absent or low eruptive activity) to “yellow” is intended to facilitate the exchange of information between the scientific community and civil protection structures.

“It is important to note that alert level changes may not occur sequentially, given the potential for sudden and unexpected activity,”informed the civil protection statement.

Etna erupted on the southeast side on Sunday, with lava fountains and a thick ash cloud, but the situation returned to normal within a few hours.

The latest eruption from the southeast crater resumed strombolian activity, followed by lava fountains and ash emission.

It resulted in an eruptive column of approximately 4.500 meters (2.7 miles) above sea level, according to the National Institute of Geophysics and Volcanology (INGV).

The resulting lava ash fell between the towns of Zafferana and Milo. However, it did not impact the operations of Catania’s international airport.

The most recent eruption of Etna occurred in August and had a greater magnitude, causing the closure of the nearby airport for 24 hours due to “wide fluctuations” of the volcanic tremors.

As a result, Civil Protection asked the authorities to restrict access to the affected areas.

According to INGV, these eruptive episodes are typical of Etna’s recent activity, usually spreading ash over the nearby Sicilian towns.

Since 1977, there have been hundreds of episodes akin to the current phenomenon, including the extraordinary sequence of 66 tremors between January and August 2000 and approximately 50 between 2011 and 2013. EFE romu/dgp/mcd

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