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Lava flows may be redirected

In occasion of a eruption in 1669 man tried the first rudimental attempt of redirecting a lava flow. Historical sources show that a group of people, with shovels and pickaxes, managed to create a breach in the lava channel close to Nicolosi and partially drain the flow away towards east. Citizens of Paternò however felt threatened by the new direction of the flow, revolted and forced the first to give up, thus the breach created in the channel closed down and the flow continued its path towards Catania.

The first real intervention of a manmade lava flow redirection was carried out only in 1983 by the Civil Protection Department.

The intervention was repeated, with different methods and more successfully, during the eruptions of 1992, 2001 and 2002.