Mt. Aetna erupts again

During the early 70's I was posted to the Marine Detachment at Sigonella, Sicily from Marine Barracks Naples. It was with out a doubt my best and most favorite tour of duty. From the barrack room (an apartment really) my view (left) through the picture window was a striking vista of Mount Aetna*, which was in fact more than 20 miles away.** It was always expelling fumes. On evenings while on patrol I could look through the starlight scope and the cauldron would be glowing (in a greenish haze, due to the intensification of the ambient light). Today I ran across this in Yahoo news....

...ROME – Italy's Mount Etna has come back to life with a brief eruption that sent lava down its slopes and a cloud of ash into the sky, forcing the overnight closure of a nearby airport.

The volcanology institute in Catania, eastern Sicily, said Thursday that a two-hour eruption overnight sent a little stream of lava down the eastern slope of the mountain. Nobody was injured.

The volcano also spewed out ash, which rained down and forced Catania's Fontanarossa airport to shut down overnight, canceling or diverting a few domestic flights.

Officials said the airport reopened early Thursday.

Etna is Europe's most active volcano. Its last major eruption was in 1992...

Here is another article I wrote about Sicily. I like the google maps which allow one basically travel down the streets of Catania.


*Although Mount Etna (or Aetna) is the highest active volcano in Europe, its renown comes from its role in Greek legends and in ancient works by writers such as Hesiod, Pindar and Aeschylus. According to Greco-Roman mythology, the giants -- the enemies of the gods -- were buried beneath Mount Etna. In their efforts to break free, the Giants caused frequent earthquakes around the mountain.

** I tryed to walk there once. I got as far as Motta, St Anastasia...

...where a bottle of wine, a sandwhich, the local beauty(ies), and the Norman Dongione delayed me. C'est la vie...

In 1992 US Marine CH53E and US Navy RH53E placed concrete blocks on the volcano to stem the tide of a lava flow.
Nature, Journal of Science, (22 February 2007)

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