Where is Mount Etna and how dangerous is it?
- All you need to know about Mount Etna and how dangerous volcano actually is
Authorities announced the closure of two major airports in Sicily after Mount Etna began spewing hot lava.
Flights have been suspended at Catania International Airport until at least 8pm and at Comiso Airport until at least 3pm today.
British Airways, Ryanair and easyJet departures to Catania have already been axed following Etna’s latest eruption.
But where exactly is Mount Etna and how dangerous is it? Read on below for everything you need to know about the potency of Mount Etna.
The volcano was listed as a Unesco World Heritage Site in 2013 and attracts thousands of visitors every year. Pictured: an aerial view of Mount Etna
Mount Etna is located on the east coast of Sicily, Italy’s largest island, between the cities of Catania and Messina
Where is Mount Etna?
Mount Etna is located on the east coast of Sicily, Italy’s largest island, between the cities of Catania and Messina.
Situated between the African and Eurasian tectonic plates, it erupts almost constantly, with varying degrees of severity.
At 10,905 ft (3,324m), Etna is the tallest active volcano in Europe and has erupted frequently in the past 500,000 years.
Scientists believe that Mount Etna was initially a submarine volcano that gradually grew to stand above sea level thanks to continually solidifying lava.
The closure of Catania International Airport due to eruptions from Mount Etna is nothing new, as it was forced to close for 24 hours in May 2023 after smoke and ash from Etna covered the runway.
In 2021, a huge eruption saw lava shoot some 1,000m into the sky with experts saying the activity was a level of fury ‘rarely seen for decades’.
How dangerous is Mount Etna?
Europe’s most active volcano can awaken from its slumber several times a year, jettisoning lava and ash high over the Mediterranean island.
Whilst tourists could perceive it as being dangerous to visit, it is actually safe to climb, as it has not erupted violently for hundreds of years.
Its first recorded eruption came in 1500 BC.
Mount Etna has erupted many times, with its most significant eruption provoking an earthquake in 1169 that killed an estimated 15,000 people.
The 700,000-year-old volcano is the second most active on Earth, after Hawaii’s Mount Kilauea.
Lava flows downhill as Etna, which is a designated Unesco World Heritage Site, erupts in May 2022.
Each year, it produces more than ten million tonnes of lava and over 7million tonnes of carbon dioxide, water and sulphur dioxide.
However, there has not been a major eruption from Etna since 1922.
The blasts often create a spectacle of flaming lava, but cloud cover on the rainy day masked views of this eruption, according to Italy’s National Institute of Geophysics and Volcanology (INGV), which closely monitors Etna with instruments installed on its slopes.
The volcano was listed as a Unesco World Heritage Site in 2013 and attracts thousands of visitors every year.
I am Rakesh Sharma, I associated with Elite News as an Editor, since 2021. I take care of all the news operations like content, budget, hiring and policy making.