Published on Feb 20, 2013
CBS News RAW: A new eruption on Mount Etna occurred at its South-Eastern crater. This event generated tall lava fountains and an eruption column that caused ash falls in the South-East sector of the volcano.
Mount Etna volcano on the island of Sicily, Italy, started erupting again on Wednesday, sending flames and sparks into the air, and flows of lava down its slopes. The air space of the nearby Catania-Fontanarossa International Airport reopened after the new eruption phase was over.
Mount Etna (Latin: Aetna) is an active stratovolcano on the east coast of Sicily, close to Messina and Catania. It lies above the convergent plate margin between the African Plate and the Eurasian Plate. It is the tallest active volcano in Europe, currently standing 3,329 m (10,922 ft) high, though this varies with summit eruptions. It is the highest mountain in Italy south of the Alps. Etna covers an area of 1,190 km2 (459 sq mi) with a basal circumference of 140 km. This makes it by far the largest of the three active volcanoes in Italy, being about two and a half times the height of the next largest, Mount Vesuvius. Only Mount Teide in Tenerife surpasses it in the whole of the European-North-African region. In Greek Mythology, the deadly monster Typhon was trapped under this mountain by Zeus, the god of the sky and thunder and god of gods and creator of mankind, and the forges of Hephaestus were said to also be located underneath it.
Mount Etna is one of the most active volcanoes in the world and is in an almost constant state of activity. The fertile volcanic soils support extensive agriculture, with vineyards and orchards spread across the lower slopes of the mountain and the broad Plain of Catania to the south. Due to its history of recent activity and nearby population, Mount Etna has been designated a Decade Volcano by the United Nations.