Etna Eruption – May 2016
A dark yet exciting awakening for Sicilian people. A new Etna eruption is lighting up the blue skies of Catania, Taormina and the neighbouring provinces.
Another Etna eruption, our volcano is back in action. After months of silence, the Signora is once again making herself noticed with a period of intense eruptions, which started in the late afternoon of 17th May.
The last eruption before then was in December 2015, when Signora Etna amazed us with an incredible show. Specifically, the eruption was characterised by its scarlet lava fountains and clouds of volcanic ash.
Since early April 2016, researchers have recorded a gradual pick up in eruptive activity in the highest part of the volcano. There has been an increase in the amount of gas emitted, especially from the north-east crater and from the mouth of the new south-east crater, which opened after the eruption on the 25th November.
The INGV seismographers, based in Catania, are continuing to record a gradual increase in the size of the volcanic tremors. They aren’t worryingly high but definitely above the average level. These tremors are accompanied by an intense release of gases, as well as sporadic and light emissions of ash from the same crater.
The Etna eruption of this May 2016 is characterised by activity typical to that of Stromboli, one of the 7 Aeolian Islands of the northern Sicily. It has included regular expulsions of magma bombs, lapilli and ash, thrown into the air, up to hundreds of meters high.
The recent Etna eruptions have been similar to this different, Strombolian type of explosion. During the night, the activity intensified and was accompanied by the emission of lava ash.
At the moment, there aren’t any lava fountains or flows, so vulcanologists predict that the activity could transform into a true paroxysm. This is the most dangerous type of eruption; it means that when a volcano, which hasn’t been very active for a while, explodes, it could also cause natural volcanic earthquakes. As with ”real” eruptions, materials of varying size would be launched out of the volcano.
Etna, we are waiting for you! Amaze us, as you always do!