Just as experts agree that the volcanic eruption of Mount Krakatau was probably the main cause for the tsunami that caused deadly devastation in Indonesia, the highest volcano in Europe, mount Etna on the island of Sicily, is coming back to life.
On the flank of the volcano it came to an eruption of one of the five main craters, at 3300 meters altitude. Mount Etna is a volcano on the east side of the Italian island of Sicily, in the province of Catania.
The eruption creates problems for air traffic in Sicily. So far there is no question of injuries.
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"The eruption took place on the flank of the volcano. It is the first lateral eruption in ten years, but it seems harmless," explains volcanologist Boris Behncke of the Italian geophysical and volcanic institute (INGV).
According to the INGV, more than 130 seismic shocks were observed since this morning.
The most powerful one had a magnitude of almost 4 on the Richter scale. These shocks were accompanied by an increase in volcanic activity, which led to a huge ash cloud around 12 o'clock that was emitted by the relatively new southeastern crater of the highly active volcano.
Likely there was also lava flowing between the ash cloud but due to the limited visibility it was not seen. The activity declined again in the afternoon.
Since early April 2016, scientists have recorded a gradual increase in eruption activity in the highest part of the volcano.
The emission of ash clouds leads to problems for air traffic in Sicily. Thus, due to the poor visibility, a large part of the air traffic around the volcano was closed. Only four arrivals per hour are allowed at Catania-Fontanarossa airport this afternoon.
The Etna is with 3,330 meters height the largest volcano in Europe. It is one of the most active volcanoes in the world.
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