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Etna: eruptive activity of the last few days

April 12, 2012

A radar installed by the  Department is monitoring volcanic ash

Maggio 2011, Attività eruttiva dell'Etna - Foto IngvThe main Functional Centre for the Volcanic Risk of the Civil Protection Department is overseeing the volcano Etna, that over the past few days has resumed its eruptive activity. In particular, it is collecting data and information from our Centres of Competence, the region, the operating structures and territorial facilities.

Compared to the volcanic phenomena which occurred yesterday, the Catania section of the National Institute of Geophysics and Volcanology recorded starting at 15 a gradual increase in the volcanic tremor and Strombolian activity at the crater pit, located on the eastern side of crater to the southeast.

Later in the night between 11 and 12 May there was an increase in eruption of the volcano. Monitoring networks have in fact reported an increase of volcanic tremor, with emission of ash associated with Strombolian activity, lava fountains and lava overflow directed into the Bove valley. During the eruptive activity a column of ash originated and dispersed to the south southeast. Following these events, the executive bodies of the airport of Catania - Fontanarossa have agreed to close the airport until 11 am today, May 12.

The X-band radar of the Civil Protection Department, installed in 2010 at the airport of Catania Fontanarossa to offer support to the decisions of the authorities that regulate and control air traffic is among the instruments used for the monitoring of the ashes of Etna. The radar has recently given proof of its potential: April 10, during another episode of eruptions of Etna, detected and tracked in a clear manner the plume of volcanic ash.

Photo: from the website of the Catania section of Ingv, National Institute of Geophysics and Volcanology