A Pyrotechnic Display Of Mount Etna, Europe's Largest And Most Active Volcano

First Posted: Mar 02, 2017 03:10 AM EST

It was fiery hot this week on the island of Sicily as Mount Etna, the largest and most active volcano, erupted last Feb. 27. It is still sending ashes high into the air and is spewing lava that might last this week.

Mount Etna is an active stratovolcano that is situated on the east coast of Sicily, Italy. It is considered the tallest and the largest active volcano in Europe measuring 3,329 meters (10,922 feet) high. However, this might change with its eruption. It has an area of 1,190 square kilometers.

Even though Mount Etna has erupted many times, the farmers have benefited from its volcanic soil. Its fertile volcanic soil is used in agriculture with vineyards and orchards that are located on the lower slopes of the mountain and the Plain of Catania to the south.

The United Nations designated Mount Etna as a Decade Volcano. It was also listed in the UNESCO World Heritage Sites in June 2013.

The eruption triggers fear for the residents nearby. This is due to its big eruption in 1981 that devastated 12,350 acres of vineyards and woods, homes and vacation villas. The telephone and power lines were covered by lava, which also buried the railroad tracks and highways. Meanwhile, in 2002 eruption, about 1,000 people evacuated the affected area, according to The New York Times.

On the other hand, the Italian authorities said that the eruption of Mount Etna posed no danger to the towns and vicinity of the mountain. Also, the airport in Catania is back to operation again. 

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