you plan to visit Etna in the near future?
The Etna telecamera is maintained by the "Sistema Poseidon" and there is no relationship of any kind with this site and its author. The Poseidon web site is in Italian, and the link to the telecamera is changed frequently, so that it is not indicated here (click on "Etna live cam" on the Poseidon home page). Please note also that all information provided on the present page (and the archived Etna news pages) is informal, based on personal observations, and is not intended to substitute, or compete with, the news bulletins now issued regularly at the Poseidon web site.
4 June 2000 update.
The SE Crater has remained quiet after its extremely powerful 60th
eruptive episode on the evening of 1 June, and the only activity currently
going on in the summit area is the normal degassing at the Bocca Nuova
(which at times is accompanied by deep-seated explosions in its W
vent) and at the NE Crater.
2 June 2000 (0200 h) update.
After only 12 hours of relative quiet, the SE Crater erupted once
more on the late evening of 1 June to celebrate its 60th eruptive
episode since 26 January. The activity started after nightfall with
lava effusion from the fissure on the N flank of the SE Crater cone,
and soon Strombolian activity was observed at that fissure. Sometime
before 2200 h, lava fountaining began from the summit vent of the
SE Crater cone. During the following 30 minutes or so, the incandescent
column rose up to 1000 m above the vent, and glowing bombs and scoriae
covered the cone all over. A voluminous lava flow advanced in the
direction of the Valle del Bove, reaching a length of 2.5-3 km, longer
than most flows produced by the preceding eruptive episodes. This
awesome spectacle could be observed from all of E Sicily and attracted
many tourists. However, there were probably no people in the risk
zone around the summit craters of Etna.
1 June 2000 (1130 h) update.
The expected paroxysmal eruptive episode at the SE Crater finally
occurred between 1000 h and 1030 h on 1 June. Before that, the volcano
played a twisted game with those who were on "eruption watch",
like British cameraman David Bryant, who stood at Monte Zoccolaro
on the S rim of the Valle del Bove. From about 0400 h on, the vents
on the lower N flank of the SE Crater cone went through several phases
of lava spattering, fountaining, and mild Strombolian activity, without,
however, culminating in a paroxysmal phase of lava fountaining at
the summit vent of the cone. Extensive lava flows were erupted from
the N flank fissure, and at times there were vigorous emissions of
ash from the summit vent of the cone. Towards 0930, the activity declined
to very low levels.
1 June 2000 (0200 h) update. Lava output from the fissure on the N flank of the SE Crater has gradually increased since the late afternoon of 31 May, but the expected paroxysm has not yet started. The activity will probably continue to increase in the next few hours and culminate in an episode of violent lava fountaining and tephra emission, accompanied by lava flows which most likely will run towards the Valle del Bove. Ash and lapilli will probably fall on the NE or ENE flank of the volcano, in an area between Fornazzo-Giarre and Linguaglossa-Fiumefreddo.
31 May 2000 evening update. Once more lava is being slowly extruded from the fissure on the N flank of the SE Crater cone, a sign that the crater is building up for its 59th paroxysm since 26 January. A small lava flow extending about 150 m towards the Valle del Bove was sighted by Giuseppe Scarpinati (Italian delegate of the Association Volcaonologique Europèenne, seated in Paris, France) at nightfall from his home in Acireale. Scarpinati noted an intense glow at the source of the lava flow, but the flow itself did not appear to be advancing vigorously. During the late afternoon of 31 May the white steam emissions from the NE Crater began to be mixed with some ash. Although both the lava emission from the N flank of the SE Crater cone and the ash emissions from the NE Crater are almost certain indicators that a new paroxysmal eruptive episode at the SE Crater is imminent, many hours may still pass before the crater enters into the paroxysmal phase of this activity. It is expected that the paroxysm will occur sometime before noon on 1 June, possibly before sunrise. If the wind direction remains the same as at 2145 h on 31 May, tephra falls will occur on the NE flank of the volcano.
31 May 2000 update.
Strong degassing has occurred at the summit craters (except the SE
Crater, which always shows very low levels of gas emission between
paroxysmal eruptive episodes) on 29-31 May, leading to the formation
of an impressive, dense plume that was driven by a strong wind to
the SE. During a brief visit to the summit area by Boris Behncke (Dipartimento
di Scienze Geologiche, University of Catania) and Luigi Tortorici
(Director of the Dipartimento di Scienze Geologiche, University of
Catania) on the evening of 30 May, the Valle del Bove was completely
filled by the plume that was pushed down the flank of the volcano
by the wind. Numerous gas rings were generated by deep-seated explosions
within the E vent of the Bocca Nuova. Eyewitnesses who had stayed
the whole day at Torre del Filosofo reported that more than 50 gas
rings had been produced on 30 May alone. The amount of degassing appears
somewhat increased as compared to the previous months; the dense plumes
are not the effect of high relative humidity since 30 May was an exceptionally
clear and dry day. However, no significant eruptive activity has occurred
since the latest eruptive episode of the SE Crater on late 27 May.
During that event, tephra was blown to the SW, causing heavy ash and
lapilli falls in the town of Adrano; fine ash was transported as far
as Gela, on the S coast of Sicily. A new paroxysm - the 59th since
26 January - will probably occur within the next few days.
Several other web pages covering the recent and ongoing eruptions of the Southeast Crater are now available; these contain photos and movie clips of some of the most spectacular moments of that period.
© Boris Behncke, "Italy's Volcanoes: The Cradle of Volcanology"
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Page set up on 27 May 1997, last modified on 5 June 2000