Second spectacular eruption within 48 hours lights the night sky
Do, 18. Feb 2021, 08:4908:49 AM | VON: T
Lava fountains from Etna last night (image: Massimo Lo Giudice / facebook)
Less than 30 hours after Tuesday's spectacular paroxysm (lava-fountaining episode), the volcano gave again an impressive display of fire, producing another similar and very powerful eruption last night.
Tremor signal showing the two peaks of the recent paroxysms (image: INGV Catania)
After the end of the previous paroxysm on 16 Feb, the volcano's activity had actually dropped to the lowest levels in recent weeks, but that was about to change very quickly last evening.
Around 11 pm local time, the sop-far intermittent and mild strombolian explosions from the New SE crater began to increase significantly, both in size and frequency. At the same time, the monitoring network of INGV Catania detected a rapid rise of volcanic tremor signal, indication of magma moving underground towards the surface.
Less than two hours later, around 1 am this morning local time, the eruption reached its peak phase: for almost an hour, tall lava fountains shot into the night sky, reaching considerable heights of probably around 500 m or even more. Multiple large lava flows descended on several sides of the cone as well.
This time, lava flows not only descended eastwards into Valle del Bove, but also to the south covering similar areas as many lava flows that had inundated the the area previously known as Torre del Filosofo in the past few years.
The Volcanic Ash Advisory Center of Toulouse detected volcanic ash reaching an altitude of 10,000 m (30,000 ft).
This latest paroxysm is likely only one of others to follow, and indicates that Etna is once again in a phase of alternating between intermittent and rather mild summit activity and violent, but short-lived lava fountains. When the next one will occur is impossible to predict, - it could be tonight or tomorrow or in 4 or more weeks. Only Etna knows for sure.
In the meanwhile, you can check its activity on various live webcams.
Massimo Lo Giudice (facebook)
Do, 18. Feb 2021, 00:45