The snow-covered Mt. Etna has long been an active volcano with numerous eruptions throughout modern times and geologists from Italy’s nearby National Institute of Geophysics and Volcanology in Catania expected this latest one.
“On May 17th we witnessed an increase in the amplitude of volcanic tremors and recorded intense degassing accompanied by occasional, weak emissions from the north-eastern crater,” a statement from the Institute said.
Smoke and lava was catapulted hundreds of metres into the air. At 3,200 metres tall (more than 10,000 feet) Mt. Etna is Europe’s highest active volcano. After some eruptions the height of Mt. Etna alters but it always remains the tallest active volcano on the continent.
With interest in Mt. Etna rising again, last week NASA published an animation that uses radio satellite imagery compiled from 1992 to 2001 to make it appear as if the volcano is “breathing” during those years.
Geologists have theorized that if the volcano were to ever erupt at his full force it could do extensive damage to all of Sicily. The volcano last erupted in December of 2015.