In recent days, Mount Etna, the most active volcano in Europe, has amazed even experienced volcanologists with spectacular spurts of lava lighting up the Sicilian sky every night.
According to Italy’s National Institute of Geophysics and Volcanology, the latest eruption petered out overnight at about 10:00am on Tuesday (local time).
Etna has been belching lava, ash and volcanic rocks on a daily basis for over a week.
The nearby Catania Airport was briefly closed, and residents of the town of Pedara said that one day last week it looked as if the rocks were raining like a thick blanket of ash covering the town.
Over the past six days, Mount Etna has erupted four times.
Volcanologist Boris Behncke of the Etna observation center of the national institute has watched the new paroxysms with awe.
Writing on the Institute’s website this week, he said Etna finally exploded in a way “gifting us moments of suspense” after “those of us who have worked in this for decades have rarely seen” over the previous nights.
Referring to the overnight activity, he tweeted: “Did I call the 20-21 February paroxysm of #Etna ‘incredibly powerful’? Well, its successor, in the night of 22-23 February, was much more powerful.”
So far, no reports of damage or casualties from the eruption have been received.