Sicily Airport Must Close Due To Italy’s Mount Etna Eruption


Following an eruption from nearby Mount Etna, flights to Catania in eastern Sicily were grounded, according to local authorities, adding more travel complications to the already troubled Italian airport.

Overnight on Sunday, the 3,330-meter-tall volcano erupted, spewing lava and ash thousands of feet above the Mediterranean island. Before morning, the lava flow stopped, although one of the craters was still spewing ash.

The airport operator stated in a statement that flights to and from Catania, a well-known tourist destination, would be delayed until 6 am on Tuesday morning, crushing hopes that they would restart on Monday night.

Before leaving for the airport on Tuesday, passengers were encouraged to check with the airlines.

On Monday, incoming planes were rerouted to other Sicilian airports. The cancellations occur on Tuesday, a state holiday, at the height of Italy’s summer vacation period.

Enrico Trantino, the mayor of Catania, imposed a 48-hour restriction on the usage of motorbikes and bicycles in the city and mandated that cars drive no faster than 30 kph (19 mph) due to the ash-covered streets. Ash may easily make roadways slick, which raises the possibility of accidents.

The most recent cancellations came a month after a fire at a terminal building caused weeks of inconvenience for travellers at Catania airport, which receives more arrivals than the island’s capital, Palermo.

Last week, Etna began emitting gas rings, signalling the start of the eruption. The incredibly rare occurrence takes place when gas bubbles are forced through a small tunnel in the volcano, which produces a rotational movement of the puff’s edges, giving it the appearance of a ring. they are launched several hundred metres into the air.

History of Mount Etna :

Mount Etna, located on the east coast of Sicily, Italy, is one of the most active and well-studied volcanoes in the world. Its history of volcanic activity dates back thousands of years. Here’s an overview of its significant eruptions:

  1. Ancient Eruptions: Etna’s earliest eruptions are believed to have occurred around 500,000 years ago. These eruptions created the foundation for the mountain’s current structure.
  2. Historical Eruptions (Ancient to Medieval Times): Throughout antiquity and the Middle Ages, Etna had a series of eruptions, though detailed records are limited. Some notable eruptions during this period include:
  • 396 BC: One of the earliest documented eruptions, recorded by the ancient Greek historian Diodorus Siculus.
  • 1169 AD: An eruption that devastated several villages and caused significant destruction.
  1. Eruptions in the Modern Era (17th-19th Century): With the advent of more accurate recording methods, Etna’s eruptions in the modern era are better documented:
  • 1669: A massive eruption that lasted several months, resulting in the formation of multiple lava flows and reshaping the volcano’s landscape.
  • 1852: An explosive eruption with lava fountains and ash emissions that impacted the surrounding areas.
  1. 20th Century Eruptions: Etna continued its eruptive activity into the 20th century with numerous eruptions of varying intensity. Some significant eruptions include:
  • 1928: A series of eruptions marked by both effusive and explosive activity.
  • 1971: An eruption that led to the evacuation of several villages due to the advancing lava flows.
  • 1983-1984: An extended eruption that saw lava flows threatening towns, including the city of Catania.
  • 2001: A series of paroxysmal eruptions that produced impressive lava fountains and ash columns.
  1. Recent Eruptions (21st Century): Etna has continued its eruptive activity in the 21st century, with eruptions occurring regularly. Some notable events include:
  • 2011-2012: A series of eruptions that produced lava flows and ash emissions.
  • 2017: A particularly intense eruptive phase featuring powerful explosions and significant ash fall.
  • 2020: An eruption that generated ash clouds and lava flows, with activity occurring near the summit and the southeast crater.
  • 2021: Mount Etna underwent a series of explosive eruptions, affecting nearby areas and causing volcanic ash and rocks to fall as far as Catania. By March 12, 2021, the volcano had erupted 11 times within three weeks, with ash clouds exceeding 10 km (33,000 ft) and leading to the closure of Sicilian airports. No injuries were reported at that time.
  • 2022: In February 2022, two eruptions occurred. On February 11, a lava fountain emerged from the Southeast Crater, transitioning into a single Strombolian eruption. The eruption reached a height of nearly 1,000 m by 7 pm, accompanied by lava bombs ejected a considerable distance. Wind blew ash westward before it shifted southeast. A significant lava flow occurred on the western flank. Another explosive eruption took place on February 19, with high lava fountains and flows from the Southeast Crater. The longest lava flow descended the northeastern flank toward the Bove Valley.

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