Mount Etna Sicily – Earthquake Central!
Hmm, I seem to have a nasty habit of visiting disaster zones – such as Kosovo.
The eruption I witnessed occurred in 2002.
Mount Etna Eruption Photos
Here is a picture I took of Mount Etna spewing it’s guts up from the nearby town of Giarre-Riposto, not far from the main centre of Catania.
The name of Giarre-Riposto is derived from the word giare, which means jars. The village is conveniently situated at the eastern base of Mount Etna and the Mediterranean, probably the grumpiest volcano in the universe.
At the time, Mount Etna was inactive for three years, until it decided putting on a spectacular show just for me. Etna had obviously been waiting for me to discover my Sicilian roots before it decided to make millions of other Sicilians nervous for the first time since 1999.
Etna slowly filled the sky with its poisonous ash, gradually changing the sky from light blue to dark grey. This phenomena looked like an ominous sign, but I’d not sighted the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse bursting through Etna’s cone to ride down the rivers of previous lava flows.
It looked like the end of the world was beginning right here, right now.
The night before I left, Etna dumped the proverbial load of ash on Giarre-Riposto, covering the cars and streets in dusty black powder. The following morning, old women busily swept the fine black powder off their footpaths and into the now black gutters.
Here are some photos:
I was amazed at this sight as I kicked up black dust walking along the footpath, breathing this respirable crap into my lungs that made my breathing organs resemble those of an underground coal miner or a pack-a-day smoker.
So I highly recommend NOT to visit Mount Etna when it is erupting.