International

Sicily's Mt. Etna Erupts, Lights Up Night Sky

Overnight, Mount Etna in Italy erupted. Luckily, the volcano is about 18 miles from the town of Catania on Sicily's east coast, so it hasn't caused much disruption. The images, though, are stunning:

Lava overflowing from the eastern rim of Mount Etna, Sicily. i

Lava overflowing from the eastern rim of Mount Etna, Sicily. Carmelo Imbesi/AP hide caption

itoggle caption Carmelo Imbesi/AP
Lava overflowing from the eastern rim of Mount Etna, Sicily.

Lava overflowing from the eastern rim of Mount Etna, Sicily.

Carmelo Imbesi/AP

The Daily Mail gives us a history lesson:

Known as 'Jebel Utlamat' in Arabic - meaning 'mountain of fire - Etna's name is thought to originate from the Phoenician word 'attuna', meaning 'furnace'.

The volcano has been active for around half a million years, with 15,000 people killed during its most violent eruption in 1669.

While its modern eruptions have rarely threatened the inhabited areas in the volcano's vicinity, a lengthy blast in 2002 was spectacular enough for footage of it to be included in Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith.

Comments

 

Please keep your community civil. All comments must follow the NPR.org Community rules and terms of use, and will be moderated prior to posting. NPR reserves the right to use the comments we receive, in whole or in part, and to use the commenter's name and location, in any medium. See also the Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Community FAQ.