Mount Etna has awed even seasoned volcanologists in recent days with spectacular spurts of lava lighting up the Sicilian sky each night.
The latest eruption overnight by Europe’s most active volcano petered out on Tuesday morning, according to Italy’s National Institute for Geophysics and Volcanology.
Nearby Catania Airport closed temporarily, and residents of the town of Pedara said it appeared one day last week as if it were raining rocks as a thick blanket of ash covered the town.
Volcanologist Boris Behncke, of the national institute’s Etna observation centre, has followed the latest eruptions with awe.
Referring to the activity overnight, he tweeted on Tuesday: “Did I call the 20-21 February paroxysm of #Etna ‘incredibly powerful’? Well, its successor, in the night of 22-23 February, was MUCH more powerful.”
So far there have been no reports of damage or injuries.