A new vent opened today on Etna in Sicily with lava flows and an ash plume from the new vent near the Southeast Crater. The eruption started after over 100 earthquakes up to M4 rattled the volcano on December 24. People (mostly skiers) on the volcano were evacuated as the eruption began. The ash plume from the eruption prompted the airspace around Catania to close as well. From the look of the ash plume, some is being produced by the eruption but part of the plume may be coming from the interaction of lava and snow on the slopes of the volcano.
📸 Joseph Nasi pic.twitter.com/cMmCN3mlkX
— EtnaLive (@EtnaLive) December 24, 2018
— eSPAINews (@eSPAINews) December 24, 2018
Today’s pass by NASA’s Aqua satellite got a shot of the ash plume from the eruption drifting to the southeast:
The volcano had been producing lava over the past few days from the southeast crater and in the image taken by Dr. Boris Behncke (INGV; below), you can see how active the volcano had been on December 23 and earlier in the week. What is different now is that a lava appears to be coming from a newly-active vent on the volcano. The recent lava flows and this new fissure all suggest that Etna might be entering a renewed period of eruption after a few years of relative quiet (for Etna’s standards).
Etna on the morning (seen from south) and evening (seen from east) of 23 December 2018 pic.twitter.com/IUaMbTe3zt
— Boris Behncke (@etnaboris) December 23, 2018
16 minutes of Etna’s eruptive activity compressed into a 30 seconds video, on the evening of 21 December 2018, seen from Zafferana Etnea, while my wife and I killed a bottle of Champagne. pic.twitter.com/u3b5ArHfjm
— Boris Behncke (@etnaboris) December 22, 2018
Remember, there are a host of webcams pointing at Etna to see what’s going on, so check them out.