Strong explosive eruption, lava fountains at Etna volcano, Aviation Color Code raised to Red, Italy

Mount Etna, Europe’s highest and most active volcano, showed a significant increase in volcanic activity on November 12, 2023, leading the National Institute of Geophysics and Volcanology, Etna Observatory to raise the Aviation Color Code to Red.

The observatory reported an increase in Strombolian activity at Etna’s Southeast Crater (SEC) at 09:00 UTC on November 12, accompanied by a modest lava overflow, confined to the SEC’s saddle.

This increase in volcanic activity coincided with a substantial rise in volcanic earthquakes, peaking at 9:00 UTC, with quake sources aligning with the SEC at approximately 2 900 m (9 515 feet) above sea level.

Despite the worsening conditions, the observatory’s GNSS and clinometric networks have not recorded any significant variations. However, at 15:58 UTC, the observatory updated that ashfall was reported in the village of Milo, with volcanic tremors intensifying and infrasonic signals widening, primarily localized in SEC.

Earlier on November 9, the Etna Observatory reported moderate explosive activity at the summit craters and subsequently elevated the Aviation Color Code from Yellow to Orange.

By November 12 at 14:49 UTC, with the detection of strong explosive activity at the summit craters and a lava fountain at the CSE, estimated at 4 500 m (14 763 feet) above sea level, the Aviation Color Code was raised to Red.

While volcanic ash was not visible, an SO2 cloud located 185 km (115 miles) east of Etna was moving eastward at 92 km/h (57 mph) and dissipating, the Toulouse VAAC reported at 22:00 UTC on November 12.

As of 09:00 UTC on November 13, no further updates have been released.



Featured image credit: Local Team (stillshot)

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