Etna Eruption March 18, 2012

The strombolian activity from the New SE crater which had started yesterday continued during the night. From 03:30 local time, the glow had been continuous and the frequency of explosions rose to 25-30 per hour. Large incandescent bombs kept on landing and rolling down along the outer flanks of the summit SE crater’s cone. This fascinating activity went on till sunrise.

At the time of writing (8:30 local time), another paroxysm is most probably about to occur. Strong explosions generating a rising ash plume and a steep increase of tremor can be observed. The intervals between paroxysms are becoming shorter, as well as the precursor activity.

NO ASHES are falling above the safely distant Taormina because the ash cloud continues moving slowly towards the sea. Airport activity should be normal although flight routes will most probably be slightly changed in order to avoid the ash cloud heading north towards Calabria.

Shot this photo this morning at 10.30 a.m. from the Hotel Villa Schuler Rooftop Terrace.

At 12.30 a.m. the ash cloud had finally moved onwards toward Calabria and Taormina regained it’s clear blue sky and serene peaceful bliss.

Gerhard Schuler, Taormina March 18, 2012