Etna volcano update: Powerful lava fountain episode Wednesday noon sends ash to Calabria

Thu, 15 Jul 2021, 07:26
07:26 AM | BY: T
Eruption column during yesterday's paroxysm at Etna (image: Radio Touring webcam from SW side)
Eruption column during yesterday's paroxysm at Etna (image: Radio Touring webcam from SW side)
Thermal view of the lava fountain (image: INGV thermal webcam)
Thermal view of the lava fountain (image: INGV thermal webcam)
Current tremor signal (image: INGV Catania)
Current tremor signal (image: INGV Catania)
Following 5 and a half day of quiet, the New SE crater produced yet another paroxysm, and one of the most powerful ones in the current series, perhaps as a result of the longer-then-usual interval that had passed since the previous episode Thursday evening last week.
Events building up to the eruption followed the usual pattern:
Volcanic tremor increased in the morning after 09:50 local time, and strombolian activity restarted at the New SE crater from around 11:05. A lava flow started from the southern crater rim to travel to the SW from around 12:40.
At the summit vent, explosive activity increased gradually and merged into lava fountaining by around 1 pm, lasted for approx. one hour and half. During the peak phase from 1.40-2.20 pm, the lava fountains reached 600-1000 m in height and produced a thick eruption column that rose to more than 9000 m above sea level, which drifted NE, causing lapilli and ash fall as far as Taormina and Reggio Calabria.
In the summit regions, large incandescent bombs were seen reaching the southern slopes of Bocca Nuova crater.
After around 2.30 pm, summit activity rapidly dropped, although intermittent, sometimes large strombolian explosions went on for a while before stopping again by late afternoon. The lava flow to the SW of the SE cone remained active for a while before ceasing as well.

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