March 16, 2007
Mount Etna is the largest active volcano in Europe and is prone to showing its power from time to time. The first recorded eruption was in 425 BC and the latest was on February 27th of this year, with a dramatic and explosive display of lava. Today, it showed Mankind who really is the boss once again by venting out hot steam, chunks of rock, ice and ash while TV crews and tour groups scattered. The explosive activity occurred when hot lava hit a thick layer of snow and ice. Ten people were injured from falling ash and rock, suffering minor cuts, bruises and burns.
Mount Etna had been active for the past two days, creating a visual spectacle as it spewed lava and ash into the air. A new lava flow started from the south-eastern crater on Wednesday and was advancing with a temperature above 1000 degrees Celsius in an area covered by snow. Sicily's Catania airport announced they would reduce arrivals by half to five flights an hour, due to ash clouds.