SICILY, ITALY (CBS/AP) — The latest eruption of Mount Etna is not a threat for the towns nearby, Italian Institute of Volcanology director Stefano Branca said Monday.
Between Saturday and Sunday, Mt. Etna erupted again with a spectacular explosion of lava and lapillus stones.
On Saturday evening, the explosive activity evolved into a lava fountain but, unlike the previous three episodes which occurred over the past week, the phenomenon lasted for about an hour and a half, lighting up the Etna sky in red.
Branca explained that the eruptions have been recently more intense.
So far there have been injuries or damage in the area surrounding Mt Etna.
Catania airport was closed last week for a few hours due to the smoke.
Etna is a popular tourist destination in Italy attracting hikers eager to see the extraordinary lava flows glowing orange at night.
“Especially, during the last week, four paroxysmal episodes took place, that is to say more intense explosions compared to the typical strombolian activity. These paroxysmal episodes are typical of this volcano and compared to the other strombolian eruptions, they have a stronger impact because they produce ash and lapillus fallout for a short period of time. These are short episodes that last for about one hour,” said Branca.