Active stratovolcano on the east coast of Sicily, Italy, Mount Etna is showing volcanic activity since 4:30 GMT as per captures by the special camera in the area which has led to the disruption of flights in and about the Mediterranean, reported Italian media. The eruption reportedly occurred in a series in a small eruption and released cloaks of ash. A thick layer of gray smoke was visible over the mountain, as per the visuals. Experts from the National Institute of Geophysics and Volcanology informed media that the situation is stable. The Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre in Toulouse (VAAC) was quoted as saying that some ash emission was ongoing. Moreover, ash remains in the vicinity of the volcano below fl150 [15,000 feet] were also found post the eruption. However, the incident resulted in a partial closure of airspace over Catania.
European Organisation for the Safety of Air Navigation, Eurocontrol in Brussels issued a public statement saying: “An eruption of volcano Etna has started. The height of the plume at the moment is up to FL140 [14,000 feet] and seems to be composed mainly by steam. The code is red. Aircraft operators are strongly recommended to closely monitor all relevant Notams [notices to air men]”.
Flight delays were reported which amounted to about three hours. EasyJet flights from Catania to Bristol, Luton, and Manchester were all delayed by over an hour. EasyJet informed the passengers about the delay saying that their flight was delayed due to air traffic control restrictions caused by the activity to Mount Etna. The aviation company further said that they were working to minimize the delay as much as possible.
As per recent updates, complex stratovolcano is ongoing currently about 3329 m (changing due to eruptive activity and collapse of its crater rims) in Sicily, Italy, 37.75°N / 14.99°E. Etna shows a pattern of effusive and mildly explosive eruptions. Most occur at the summit, where there are currently five distinct craters such as the Northeast Crater, the Voragine, the Bocca Nuova, and the Southeast Crater Complex. The earlier and current reports cite both summit and frequent flank eruptions, the latter seem to be occurring in clusters lasting few to a few tens of years, cites Volcano Discovery.
(with inputs from agencies)