The new eruptive phase of Etna volcano which started early May 30, 2019 (UTC) appears to be intensifying. Large lava flows are descending down its flanks, resulting in amazing night-time imagery.
The eruption started with two new fissures opening on the northern and southeastern sides of the New Southeast Crater during the early morning UTC hours of May 30. Modest strombolian activity was reported and small lava flows.
The Aviation Color Code was raised to Red at 11:21 UTC, May 30.
Volcanic ash was rising between 3.5 and 4 km (11 500 to 13 120 feet) above sea level.
The image below was taken from Tremestieri Etneo just a few minutes after the fissures opened:
Etna on May 30, 2019. Credit: Boris Behncke
Here a gif with the images of #Sentinel2 and #Sentinel5p of the #Etna volcano acquired today. Both show the ash plume in NE direction. Wow! thanks to @CopernicusEU and @sentinel_hub! pic.twitter.com/pL8Q83OK5F— Annamaria Luongo (@annamaria_84) May 30, 2019
INGV's Boris Behncke said that the fact that new eruption has started at Etna, does not mean there will be new earthquakes like the region experienced in December.
"Most eruptions on the sides of Etna are preceded by modest seismic activity, but this time they haven't," Behncke said. "In some cases, the earthquakes continue even after the beginning of the eruption (as in 2002 and December 2018)."
Featured image credit: INGV/Boris Behncke