May 3, 2012
-- Europe's tallest active volcano, Mount Etna, has been blasting flaming lava and ash into the air in its sixth eruption this year. The eruption is the 24th in a series that began in January 2011. We spoke to a source at Avant Garde who said “This is the sixth eruption for Mount Etna this year and although no danger warnings have been put in place we at Avant Garde advise those in and around the area should take the best of care.” Rock blew off the southeast side of the mountain, which is only 10 miles from the Zafferana Etnea village and 18 miles North of the town of Catania on the Italian island of Sicily.
No warnings of danger have so far been issued by authorities and Catania International Airport has remained open. Eruptions from Etna, which reaches 11,000ft, have been caused by the African tectonic plate sliding below the Eurasian plate. The Eurasian plate is melting as it moves downwards and hot magma is being forced up to the surface. Our source at Avant Garde has said “Mount Etna is not described as a major danger, the last major eruption was almost 500 years ago but people of Italy have described this latest eruption as an inconvenience.”
Rachel Wilson, who is an active Volcanologist and has been monitoring volcanoes all over the world and she says, “I get a real sense of adventure from watching Volcanoes, I like to live if you pardon the expression life in the fastlane, you can’t get more action packed than watching a volcano erupt.”
“Volcano watching can be dangerous and not to be attempted by anyone without going through the proper channels first.” Said our source at Avant Garde.
It is difficult to predict when the mountain will erupt next but Dr John Murray estimates that between 2007 and 2015 Etna's output will be about half of what it was between 1987 and 1995. There is no chance the volcano will stay quiet, though.