Subscribe to Breaking News emails

You have successfully subscribed to the Breaking News email.

Subscribe today to be the first to to know about breaking news and special reports.

Mount Etna Awakens in Spectacular but Harmless Eruption

by Alex Johnson /  / Updated 
Mount Etna erupts Tuesday near the Sicilian town of Catania in southern Italy.Salvatore Allegra / AP

Breaking News Emails

Get breaking news alerts and special reports. The news and stories that matter, delivered weekday mornings.

Mount Etna, one of the world's most active volcanoes, has awakened from an eight-month-long nap, erupting in a spectacular light and ash show over the Italian island of Sicily.

The eruption began Monday and was easing by Tuesday night. An ash fallout that the National Institute of Volcanology described as "modest" was reported in the villages of Lingfield and Zafferana Etnea, but the institute stressed that there was no danger to residents or aviation.

 Mount Etna spews lava Tuesday as it erupts on the southern Italian island of Sicily. Antonio Parrinello / Reuters

The volcano institute said the new eruption was accompanied by an underground tremor that was recorded at about 5 p.m. (noon ET) Monday. High-frequency GPS sampling indicated no significant changes in the volcano's structure that should cause alarm, it said.

Boris Behncke, a volcanologist at the institute's Catania bureau, said on Facebook that the lava flow was moving slowly and had advanced only about a half-mile toward the south-southwest.

Etna is characterized by so-called Strombolian eruptions — frequent, relatively mild explosions, probably caused by a slow buildup of carbon dioxide, sulfur dioxide and water gases. Small eruptions typically occur every few months — the last one came last May.

Breaking News Emails

Get breaking news alerts and special reports. The news and stories that matter, delivered weekday mornings.

Breaking News Emails

Get breaking news alerts and special reports. The news and stories that matter, delivered weekday mornings.
MORE FROM news

Have feedback?

How likely are you to recommend nbcnews.com to a friend or colleague?

0 = Very unlikely
10 = Very likely
Please select answer

Is your feedback about:

Please select answer

Leave your email if you’d like us to respond. (Optional)

Please enter a valid email address

Thank you!

Your feedback has been sent out. Please enjoy more of our content.

We appreciate your help making nbcnews.com a better place.