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3:00 PM | Mount Etna erupts and lights up the skies in Sicily, Italy


Weather forecasting and analysis, space and historic events, climate information

3:00 PM | Mount Etna erupts and lights up the skies in Sicily, Italy

Paul Dorian

Mount Etna is the largest volcano in Europe and one of the most active volcanoes in the world.  On Thursday morning, December 3rd, southern Italy woke up to see an eruption after two years of silence.  Scientists say it was the most violent eruption from the volcano in the past two decades.  The intense eruption exploded from Etna’s Voragine crater with ash reaching as high as 10,000 feet into the atmosphere and a fountain of lava as high as 5,000 feet.  High level winds pushed ash over villages in Sicily and other portions of southern Italy.  Volcanic lightning was also seen above Mt Etna on Thursday during the eruption period which lasted less than an hour.  The Voragine crater was formed inside of the central crater in 1945 and is among three other craters in the volcano: Bocca Nuova, the crater of the Northeast, and the crater of the Southeast which is said to be the most active one.  

Spectacular view of eruption; courtesy 

Spectacular view of eruption; courtesy