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28 Dec

His majesty Etna, awakens Christmas Eve

WhatsApp Image 2018-12-28 at 14.26.33On the eve of Christmas Etna returns to be heard: it is erupting: sudden explosion from the main crater of the volcano at 3300 meters above sea level. The explosion follows the Strombolian activity of the New Southeast Crater of the Volcano. The activity is characterized by explosions as well as by emissions of lava ash. From the beginning of April 2016, scholars have recorded a gradual recovery of the eruptive activity in the highest part of the volcano, which occurred with an increase in the emission of gas, especially from the Northeast Crater.
The seismic activity was accompanied by a gradual increase in the degassing of the summit crater area, initially with sporadic ash emissions emitted by the Bocca Nuova and the Crater of theWhatsApp Image 2018-12-28 at 14.26.33 (2) North-East, which culminated at about 12.00 in a dense and continuous plume of dark ash. After about five minutes, intense strombolian activity began at the southern base of the New Southeast Crater, probably triggered by an eruptive fissure. At the same time the Strombolian activity is further increased also at the Bocca Nuova and at the Cratere di Nord-Est.
Overall, the ash cloud generated by the whole of the eruptive vents produced a very thick dark ash plume, pushed by the wind in the south-eastern quadrant of the volcano. The volcanic ash mainly fell in the surroundings of Zafferana Etnea and Santa Venerina. During its propagation, the eruptive fissure opened in Valle del Bove has fed some lava flows that have crossed entirely the western wall of the valley, reaching its bottom and settling, at 17.00 UTC on December 24th, at variable rates between 1650 and 1800 meters.
In the early hours of December 25, the eruption WhatsApp Image 2018-12-28 at 14.26.33 (1)is still ongoing. A lava flow continues to flow into the Valle del Bove, fed by the eruptive fracture whose lower mouth is located at about 2400 m elevation, along the western wall of the valley itself. The summit craters, and in particular the New Bocca and the Northeast Crater, produce a continuous Strombolian activity that feeds a gaseous plume rich in volcanic ash. The seismic swarm that accompanies the eruption continues; since yesterday morning, in about twenty-four hours, more than seven hundred and fifty seismic shocks have been recorded by the seismic network of the INGV Osservatorio Etneo.