4th paroxysm eruption in four days at Etna volcano in Italy – Last night explosion was strongest in decades (videos and pictures)
Last night’s eruptive episode of tall lava fountains, known as paroxysm, turned out to be one of the most impressive and powerful in recent years. Not only did it produce higher fire fountains than usually, but also it lasted longer than most other paroxysms.
Around 10:30 p.m. local time, volcanic tremor and strombolian activity from the New SE crater began to increase drastically. Half an hour later, a first lava flow started to descend from the eastern summit vent of the crater, and activity continued to increase, soon forming fountains of a few hundred meters tall.
However, instead of peaking (and decreasing) very soon, activity continued to increase and first reached its climax at around 00:30 this morning, with fire fountains reaching the incredible heights of 800-1000 m!
Thanks to the near-absence of wind, a tall eruption column of over 10 km height formed with a circular umbrella cloud at the boundary between troposphere and stratosphere.
The eruption ended abruptly at 2 a.m., thus having produced sustained lava fountains for almost 3 hours!
Here a time-lapse video of the eruption:
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