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Ash Cloud Fears as Europe’s highest active volcano erupts

Europe’s highest active volcano has erupted, spewing a column of hot ash high into the sky. The 3,295m (10,810ft) peak on the Mediterranean island of Sicily, Italy regularly awakens to blast out lava and ash. Eruptions sometimes last for days at a time and can force the closure of Catania airport. The volcano rumbled back to life on Wednesday night, prompting a crisis meeting at Catania as a column of ash up to 5,000m (over 16,000ft) above sea level filled the sky. However, flights have not had to be cancelled so far. Lava was also seen flowing from a new crater on the southeast side of the summit toward the uninhabited Valle del Bove region, according to the Catania Institute of Geophysics and Vulcanology.

…(Sky News)

After taking the holidays off, Italy’s Etna decided to start off 2012 with another paroxysm, this one producing an impressive eruptive plume after some smaller explosions. The eruption itself (see image above) was very similar to the paroxysms of 2011, with a mix of lava fountaining and flows – you can see it all in the timelapses of the eruption(put together by Eruptions readers) but this time we had the added bonus of significant snow on the volcano adding to the explosivity of the eruption. The eruption was vigorous enough to even grow its own small pyroclastic cone as well. As usual, Dr. Boris Behncke’s Flickr stream is full of images and video from the eruption as well. Eruptionsreaders (and others) caught a lot of the action overnight and into the morning on the many webcams surrounding Etna.

UPDATECheck out this new video of the eruption from Etna Walk as well.

…(Wired)

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January 6, 2012 - Posted by | Volcanic | , , , , ,

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