Mount Etna, the highest active volcano in Europe is on the
east coast of Sicily, Italy, 29 kilometers south of Catania,
with perimeter of 160 kilometers. The eruption covered an
area of 1,165 square kilometers. The main bocca is 3323 meters
above sea level and 500 meters in diameter, where snow can
always be seen. There are more than 200 smaller volcanic
cones around, and lava often flows out of them during periods
of intense activity. There are forest belts and thickets
above the altitude of 1300 meters and fruit trees such as
grapes and citrus below 500 meters. Ash and lava piled on
piedmont area with intensive agriculture.
Mount Etna, located in the Mediterranean volcanic belt,
is where the Eurasian plate meets the Indian Ocean plate.
Around the volcano is Sicily's most populous region. The
lower layer of the geological structure is ancient sandstone
and limestone, and the upper layer is marine peat and clay.
Mount Etna is a giant shield volcano with a 300-metre-high
cinder cone on the upper part, indicating a change in the
way of eruption in its history of activity. Because mount
Etna is at the intersection of several sets of faults, it is
always active and is the volcano with the longest history
of eruption, dating back to 1500 BC.
Mount Etna has been active in recent years. Thousands of
meters away from the volcano, it can be seen that the gas
is constantly emitting yellow and white smoke, accompanied by
explosions of steam. Dormant volcanoes, even those that are
alive but not ready to erupt now, may be called active volcanoes
in the future. Those whose last eruption was very old and
proved not to erupt in the foreseeable future are called extinct
volcanoes or extinct volcanoes.
According to documentation, Etna has a history of more
than 500 eruptions, known as the world's most eruptive
volcano. Its first famous eruption was in 475 BC, more
than 2,400 years ago. The most violent eruption was in
1669, lasting four months. Volcanic eruptions have been
more frequent since the 18th century. It has erupted more
than 10 times in the 20th century. Between 1950 and 1951,
the volcano spewed lava for 372 days, making several towns
nearby destroyed by 1 million cubic meters of lava.
The eruption of Etna lasted three years from 1979. The
eruption on March 17, 1981 was the most violent in decades.
From the northeastern crater of the northeastern volcano,
which is 2,500 meters above sea level, the blast of lava
mixed with rock, sand and ash poured down at a speed of
about 1,000 meters per hour, burying dozens of hectares
of trees and numerous vineyards and destroying hundreds
of houses. On September 4th, 2007, Mount Etna erupted
again with blazing lava and thick black smoke dazzling at
night. While the local residential areas and tourist
attractions were at the foot of the mountain.
Etna erupted again on May 12th, 2011. People could feel the
waggling of windows and houses in towns thousands of meters
away from the volcano during the most fierce period of the
eruption. The lava mixed with volcanic ash burst skyward from
the caldera of Mount Etna, causing loud noise that was audible
in nearby towns and villages.
At the same time, a cloud of ash fell over many nearby areas.
The airport in Catania, where Etna is located, was temporarily
closed as ash fell onto the runway.