news20 luglio 2011

Etna: situation as of 20 July 2011

The Functional Centre for Volcanic Risk continues monitoring

We publish data and information on Etna eruptive activity collected by the Central Functional Centre for Volcanic Risk, through the main monitoring and surveillance systems.

The strombolian activity registered over the past few days at the pit crater, mouth at the base of the crater in south-east Etna increased during the night of 19 July: starting from 1,20 a.m., monitoring station of Ingv - Catania section - registered a considerable growth of volcanic tremor, associated to the intense strombolian activity.

From 2,20 a.m. surveillance cameras of Catania Ingv observed a small lava flow moving towards valle del Bove, with lava fountains and significative ash emissions towards east-south-east. The emission stopped at 5,15 a.m. and caused the closure of Catania airport - Fontanarossa from 3 to 6 a.m.. The Operating Room of Sicily Region signalled volcanic ash fall in the municipalities of Zafferana Etnea, Giarre and Milo.

The Central Functional Centre  – Volcanic Risk Sector of the Civil Protection Department issued a notice of  “high criticality” for the top area of the volcano and of  “ordinary criticality” for the middle slope, piedmont and urban areas. The evaluation of criticality supports the local boards' decisions for the activation of intervention models.

The Prefect of Catania prolonged with an ordinance up to  27 July 2011 the absolute ban of accessing the volcano over 2,920 meters (close to the Philosoper's Tower), either on the north and south slopes. 

The Functional Centre continues the surveillance activity of the phenomena through its Ingv competence centres of Catania, University of Florence and operating structures of Alpine Rescue of Guardia di Finanza and Forest Corps of Sicily Region.

Updated at 8,00 a.m.

Image source: Ingv-Catania. Lava fountain and lava flow of the active crater on the side of the olde inactive cone of South-East Crater (left), seen from Trecastagni at 0130 GMT of 19 July 2011. Image by Boris Behncke, Ingv-Catania.