UNESCO World Heritage Site Current Affairs - 2019

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Italy’s Volcano Mount Etna erupts on Island of Sicily

Europe’s Highest Volcano Mount Etna, in southern Italy erupted with burst into life, spews ash, fire, and spitting molten lava high into sky.

Key Highlights

  • This is 2019’s first eruption as the volcano on island of Sicily previously erupted in December 2018.
  • The lava came from two eruptive fissures on northeastern and south-southeastern sides of Mount Etna’s New Southeast Crater. Mount Etna burst into life, spitting molten lava high into sky.
  • Italy’s National Institute of Geophysics and Vulcanology (INGV) reported the lively spattering after volcano erupted and as fire and hot ash spewed high into sky which later slowed slightly but still posed risk to climbers. It also reported that latest lava show did not pose any problems for nearby residential areas or for flights at closest airport at Catania.

About Mount Etna

  • With an elevation of 3,326 m (10,912 ft), it is the highest peak in Italy (south of Alps) and is the highest active volcano in Europe outside the Caucasus.
  • It is also the largest of the three active volcanoes in Italy, other being Mount Vesuvius, near Naples and Mount Stromboli, one of the Aeolian Islands. It is about 2.5 times the height of the next largest, Mount Vesuvius.
  • It is an active stratovolcano and is located on the east coast of Sicily, Italy, in the Metropolitan City of Catania.
  • The United Nations has designated Mt. Etna as a Decade Volcano due to its history of recent activity and nearby population.
  • In June 2013, it was added to the list of The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) World Heritage Sites.

Italy’s Mount Etna Volcano erupts

Italy’s Mount Etna volcano erupted on 24th December 2018 resulting in more than 130 earthquakes of up to 4.3 in magnitude. The volcanic lava and ash spewed from a new fracture near its south-eastern crater for the first time in a decade and was visible for miles.

Etna’s eruptions are relatively frequent and there has been a gradual increase in activity on the volcano over the last month as reported by the according to Italy’s National Institute of Geophysics and Volcanology,

The volcanic eruption and the subsequent earthquakes have resulted in the closure of Sicily’s Catania Airport and the Hikers were told to come down to lower elevations to avoid the noxious fumes.

Mount Etna Volcano

Mount Etna is Europe’s highest and most active volcano outside the Caucasus. Mount Etna is an active stratovolcano on the east coast of Sicily, Italy. The last major eruption was in 1992.

The volcano lies above the convergent plate margin between the African Plate and the Eurasian Plate. Mount Etna is in an almost constant state of activity. United Nations has designated Mount Etna has a Decade Volcano by the United Nations and it was added to the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

A study by the UK lead team reveals that the whole structure of Europe’s premier volcano was edging towards the sea at a rate of 14mm per year.