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2:10 PM | *Mount Etna erupts for the third time this year on the Italian island of Sicily*

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

2:10 PM | *Mount Etna erupts for the third time this year on the Italian island of Sicily*

Paul Dorian

 Mount Etna, Europe’s most active volcano, spewed lava during an eruption early Thursday, 3/16/17. Credit Salvatore Allegra/Associated Press

Mount Etna, Europe’s most active volcano, spewed lava during an eruption early Thursday, 3/16/17. Credit Salvatore Allegra/Associated Press

Mount Etna is located on the eastern edge of the Italian island of Sicily - the largest island in the Mediterranean Sea - and it erupted yesterday which is its third eruption of the year.  Etna is Europe’s tallest and most active volcano and has been erupting for millennia in the southern part of Europe.  It has been particularly unsettled in recent weeks and there was a group of tourists and a BBC camera crew nearby at the time of Thursday’s explosion. The group was pelted by steam and boiling hot rocks as Etna erupted and sprinted to a nearby rescue although ten were injured, none seriously.

 A satellite image of Mount Etna erupting on Thursday, March 16, 2017; courtesy Copernicus Sentinel-2A satellite.

A satellite image of Mount Etna erupting on Thursday, March 16, 2017; courtesy Copernicus Sentinel-2A satellite.

Etna is actually a fascinating case study for other volcanoes around the world because it has a written record of past eruptions going back to 1500 BC. One early recorded eruption observation was written by Diodorus Siculus in 425 B.C. The mountain was also described by the Roman poet Virgil in the epic poem The Aeneid. This week's activity wasn't particularly big — "a minor eruption by Etna's standards," said an astronomer at the Trieste Astronomical Observatory in Italy.  Over the past 17 years, the mountain has erupted several times — in 2001, 2007-2008, 2011-2012 and then again in 2015 (source USA Today). Eruptions in the past few years rarely caused significant damage to those living and farming nearby.

Meteorologist Paul Dorian

Vencore, Inc.

vencoreweather.com


 

 Another famous volcano in Italy is located in Pompeii which can be seen on the other side of the Tyrrhenian Sea; courtesy USA Today, ESRI   

Another famous volcano in Italy is located in Pompeii which can be seen on the other side of the Tyrrhenian Sea; courtesy USA Today, ESRI