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Dramatic Explosion at Italy’s Mount Etna Injures Ten

17 Mar 2017, 9:46 am

[Image Credit: Giuseppe Famiani, Mount Etna eruption from December 4, 2015]

At least ten people were injured after a sudden explosion on Mount Etna in Italy on Thursday. A group of tourists and scientists were visiting Europe’s largest and most active volcano when a burst of steam and rocks exploded onto them. Authorities say about 35 tourists were on the mountain when the explosion occurred. Guides who were with the tourists helped return everyone to safety.

[Credit: INGV Comunicazione Sociale via Storyful]

Mount Etna is located in Italy on the eastern side of the island of Sicily, between the cities of Messina and Catania. Etna experienced an increase of volcanic activity in its southeast crater on Thursday, two weeks after its most recent eruption. Among the injured were a journalist and a vulcanologist, according to reports. Vulcanologists from the National Institute of Geophysics and Volcanology (INGV) Catania were present and said the situation wasn’t serious.

https://www.instagram.com/p/BRs36UqhhrI/

[Credit: Instagram/aerdna_k via Storyful]

BBC Science Correspondent Rebecca Morelle was close to the crater when the explosion happened and described the event with many tweets.  Molten rocks and steam fell down onto the tourists when a flow of lava hit a snow pack, creating the explosion.

Bubbling mud was reported near Paternò, at the foot of Mount Etna, as activity at the volcano resumed on Wednesday. Locals link the phenomenon to the volcanic activity but geologists disputed that the mud flow could be used to predict eruptions, according to a National Geographic report.

[Credit: YouTube/MeridioNews via Storyful]

The area of Cappuccini di Paternò regularly sees such activity, known as “salinelle,” according to local reports.

[Credit: Instagram/fresco16 via Storyful]

For WeatherNation: Meteorologist Mace Michaels

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