September 2004 update.
is a bit of news that has to be reported on this page, which is
not related to the current eruption of Mount Etna, and it is bad
news. On 15 September 2004, a French hiker was killed by lightning
in the Montagnola area, at 2640 m elevation on the south flank of
the volcano. In that moment, a violent thunderstorm had developed
over the mountain (which also deposited a significant quantity of
hail that gave Etna a "winterly" appearance thereafter).
According to a report in the local newspaper "La Sicilia"
(17 September 2004), the victim, a 49-years old mountain guide (!)
from Paris, had climbed to the area alone in spite of the increasingly
bad weather. It seems that he intended to check the conditions for
viewing the active lava flows before leading an excursion group
to the place during the following days.
7 September 2004 update. Information regarding the current state of Mount Etna's activity is provided by the Catania section of the Istituto Nazionale di Geofisica e Vulcanologia (INGV-CT) and Charles Rivière's "Etna Volcan Sicilien" (the latter also includes photographs).
21 March 2004 update. Updating of this page will be discontinued from now on. I am really sorry for that but this is a necessary step, for a number of reasons, including serious time constraints as I am engaged in a number of scientific and educational activities. However, photographs and summarizing descriptions of future eruptive events will be posted on this site. Furthermore, reference will be made to other sources of information in the case of renewed eruptive activity. The first place to look at is "Etna Volcan Sicilien", whose author Charles Rivière frequently visits Etna and faithfully shares his observations and photographs on-line. Scientific information on significant eruptive events is provided by the Catania section of the Istituto Nazionale di Geofisica e Vulcanologia (INGV-CT), whose staff frequently provides reports via the Volcano Listserver and in the Bulletin of the Global Volcanism Network. "Italy's Volcanoes" will continue to serve as a prime source of information regarding the Italian volcanoes, aiming at placing individual volcanoes and their eruptive histories into a broader context in space and time. In any case, the demise of the Etna news falls into a period when there is very little to report on the volcano, which has given us a highly welcome period of quiet after nearly eight years of frantic activity. The archived news documenting much of that period provide a vivid impression of my early years at Etna; they comprise an enormous treasure of experiences and emotions and represent a unique "diary" of a life on an active volcano. Although you will no longer find any "hot news" regarding Etna on this site, I hope that you will continue to enjoy visiting "Italy's Volcanoes" and explore the fascinating world of the volcanoes in this beautiful country.
Copyright © Boris Behncke, "Italy's Volcanoes: The Cradle of Volcanology"
Page set up on 27 May 1997, last modified on 17 September 2004