Catania

Etna roars again, Stromboli calms down

15th 2013 eruption by Catania volcano, island twin's lava stops

Etna roars again, Stromboli calms down

Catania, April 18 - Sicilian volcano Etna roared back into life Thursday while island twin Stromboli calmed down. Etna, Europe's tallest active volcano, thunderously belched out ash from a new side crater while Stromboli took a time out after Wednesday's spectacular eruption from its recent Gulley of Flame that spewed lava 500m down its slopes. Last Friday towering ash plumes from Etna led to the cancellation of three flights from nearby Catania Airport. The latest activity is Etna's 15th this year. Earlier this month the mayors of the towns in its lee called for "urgent" government action. "A few snowflakes in Rome get everyone going while we've been having to put up with these ash showers for years," said Santa Venerina Mayor Enrico Pappalardo. "We want a state of emergency to be declared," said the mayors in a joint statement. Etna saw nine "eruptive events" last year. Its last full-blown eruption came a year ago when it belched out a plume of smoke that caused the temporary closure of Catania Airport. Scientists at the National Institute of Geophysics and Volcanology recorded 18 eruptions of Etna in 2011. Stromboli's last big burst of activity came in mid-January when lava flows from the famous volcano north of Sicily led to talk of evacuating people from the island, made famous in the classic 1950 Italian-American film Stromboli directed by Roberto Rossellini and starring Ingrid Bergman. Stromboli, part of the string of eight Aeolian Islands, has erupted very frequently in small, energetic bursts for centuries. Stromboli, a popular tourist attraction, has a constant lava flow. Two new flows emerged in 2007, leading to the temporary evacuation of the coastal villages. On December 30, 2002, Stromboli blew its stack in a terrific explosion that sent one of the island's slopes crashing into the sea. Four million cubic metres of lava - the equivalent of a 30-storey building - crashed into the water creating a 10-metre (33-feet) high tsunami which reached as far as the Sicilian mainland. On Stromboli, six people were injured, homes were flooded and dozens of boats destroyed. Many of the island's 400 residents were evacuated and tourism was banned for months. Larger-than-usual bubbles of sulphur gas also surfaced in the sea off Panarea. Stromboli has seen several major explosions over the past century. A violent eruption in September 1930 caused a tidal wave that led to several deaths and threatened to engulf two towns in lava. The disaster inspired movie great Rossellini's film - on whose set he fell in love with future wife Bergman. In 1950, they were both already married and the affair caused a scandal, forcing Bergman to work outside the US until after their marriage in 1956. photo: Stromboli

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