November 26, 2013 – Mount Etna Eruption Video: The citizens of nearby town Taormina were showered with volcanic ash as Mount Etna erupted again. No evacuations were called for; however there was a half an hour delay on a nearby freeway as precautionary measures. Two air corridors were also shut down briefly, however the airport at Catania operated as usual.
Mount Etna is known for being Italy’s largest active stratovolcano, and citizens in the surrounding areas may be used to the occasional grumble and ash rain from above. Mount Etna stands at 10,992 feet high and has a total circumference of 140 kilometers. Its height put it at approximately two and a half times larger than the next largest active volcano in Italy.
Mount Etna has been deemed a Decade Volcano by the United Nations. A total of 16 volcanos are currently considered Decade Volcanos which undergo increased studies due to the populated areas nearby. The program has been successful in predicting volcanic activity and assisting with the avoidance of disasters through diversion of lava, evacuations, and more.
One such successful diversion of lava flow occurred during a quite large eruption of Mount Etna in 1992. During this eruption, there had been barriers initially placed perpendicular to the lava flow in an attempt to divert it. As this did not actually function as intended, experts placed explosives on the surface of a lava tube. This caused the lava to flow in a new, artificial channel, effectively moving the lava flow away from the town of Zafferana.
The Master of Disaster