A new paroxysm (nr 9 in 2011) from the "New SE crater" of Etna is occurring at the time of writing. Following a brief period of intermittent weak explosions starting mid-day today, strombolian activity started to increase sharply the evening of 5 August; activity has now reached near continuous low lava fountaining and is likely to increase in the next hour(s). A lava flow has started to descend into the Valle del Bove. Our team member Marco Fulle is on location documenting this spectacular event.
The eruption was somewhat smaller in size than the previous paroxysms. Its main phase lasted from 22h00 to ca. 1 am on 7 August when activity dropped sharply again. The big question is what will come next! Possibly, more paroxsysms (in 2000, a similar series of 66(!) paroxysms occurred from the SE crater), the next one perhaps again in ca. 6 days... Or, a new flank eruption hat finally allows the huge magma storage inside Etna to drain effectively. (VolcanoDiscovery)