Early Monday night, Sicily’s Mount Etna’s latest eruption started, with the mountain thrusting huge fountains of lava hundreds of feet into the air providing a spectacular if frighting show. Officials said the lava flows began at around 7pm on Monday at Europe’s highest and most active volcano. As dawn broke on Tuesday morning, the most recent flows could readily be seen creeping down the side of the mountain.
The most recent eruption is centered at the south-east crater and is plainly visible from the nearby cities of Catania and Taormina. Video footage below shows the volcano sending out tall fountains of bright red lava on Monday night. For your convience, we are including a live stream of the continued eruptions by clicking here.
This most recent eruption has been classified as a ‘Strombolian’ – a category characterized by explosive bursts of activity during which cinder, ash and smoke are ejected from the crater with great force. According to Ingv, Italy’s National Institute of Geophysics and Vulcanology, the eruptions don’t currently present a danger to people or property. The nearby Catania airport has not been affected and remains fully operational.
Mount Etna is located between the cities of Messina and Catania. The mountain has been in a near-constant state of activity, meaning its shape changes more frequently than any other volcano for years. Just this past January the volcano experienced a flurry of activity which saw some local schools briefly evacuated.
Mount Etna, along with Mount Vesuvius which is located near Naples, are both designated by the United Nations as members of a designated class of volcanoes known as ‘Decade Volcanoes’, meaning that they are kept under close observation by scientists and studied particularly closely due to the frequency of activity and density of nearby population.