Tourists narrowly escape as Mount Etna spews molten rocks

Jay Jacobs
March 18, 2017

The eruption caused an explosion as magma hit snow around the volcano, and while 10 people were injured, none of them are thought to be in a grave condition.

Morelle tweeted that the BBC crew was shaken by the incident but that they and everyone else, including a 78-year-old woman, made it down the mountain safely.

The steam plumes were enormous and was the third time within the last three weeks that significant volcanic activity has occurred at Mount Etna.

Thursday's event was considered a phreatic eruption, which means hot lava flowed over snow, causing steam to rise into sky.

A volcano erupting must be one hell of a sight, but most of us would prefer to watch it from a safe distance.

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"The material thrown into the air fell back down, striking the heads and bodies of people who were closest", Marino said, according to the Catania Today website.

The BBC's global science reporter, Rebecca Morelle, was on assignment on Etna and described the experience in a series of tweets.

The new lava flow, which began two days ago, likely topped 1,000 degrees Celsius, or 1,832 degrees F., in temperature. Injuries suffered included burns, cuts, bruises, and head injuries.

"It's hard to say whether this has been the most risky eruption in 30 years", Stefano Branca, a volcanologist at Italy's National Institute of Geophysics and Volcanology, told Guardian.

As a result of Thursday's eruption, officials said flights arriving at Catania airport would be halved to five an hour because of ash clouds, but departures would continue uninterrupted.

Other reports by TheDailyFarc

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