Mount Etna, Europe’s tallest and most active volcano, began erupting Monday, sending bright fiery lava into the air and down its snow-covered slopes that reach an elevation of 10,922 feet.
By Tuesday, Italian authorities on the island of Sicily, where Mount Etna is located, declared that the latest eruption, the second of 2017, posed no further threat to nearby towns, according to the New York Times.
As for skiers on the slopes of Mount Etna, however, they needed to pay a little closer attention to the volcanic activity, as evidenced by video footage taken Tuesday by Rosario Catania, who was among a group of skiers that chased a smoking volcanic boulder down the slope.
“It’s huge,” someone says in the video. “It’s beautiful.”
And, thankfully, harmless, as it rolled to a stop in the snow.
Guiseppe Distefano also captured video of Mount Etna’s activities, as seen in this Wall Street Journal video:
In modern history, Etna erupted forcefully in 1928, destroying the town of Mascali. However, Etna’s most destructive incident was recorded in 1669, when lava flowed for four months. A 17-kilometer long flow of lava destroyed Catania and several neighboring villages.
In the past seven decades, Etna has been rather innocuous, striking those who see it as more beautiful than fearsome. Etna, however, is not dormant.
Before 2001, Etna’s eruptions were recorded at a frequency of about one every two years. Since then, Etna has erupted at least once a year.
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