Mount Etna erupted on Christmas Eve. More quakes shake now Sicily, Stands
soon a bigger eruption before?
The situation has calmed down a bit. But at Etna it's like this: No sooner has an eruption gone,
new magma accumulates, the volcano works on the next eruption. That can
take a few years, sometimes only a few months.
You have been researching since 1997 Italy, Was the eruption a warning signal?
The current outbreak was relatively small. But I know at least five incidents from the
past 200 years, during which within the first two, three years after a small one
Outbreak a bigger came. And then a bigger one …
How dangerous will it be then?
In the worst case, it could affect hundreds of thousands of Sicilians. The volcanic
Ash would be transported hundreds of miles in a strong explosion.
Flying would be difficult depending on the wind situation over Sicily or throughout southern Europe and the
Health be affected. But in Germany you do not have to worry. The
Ash is rather not carried to the north.
On the Aeolian Islands north of Sicily there are other volcanoes such as the
Grande Fossa: Could it be that the eruption of Etna further outbreaks result
At most indirectly. When one volcano erupts, that rarely means another
The further north Stromboli is also particularly active.
Civil defense has raised the alert level, but Stromboli is known for
that he produces small to medium sized explosions several times an hour. I can as
Volcanologist just does not notice anything out of the ordinary.
Nevertheless, he is at risk. On December 30, 2002, an eruption crashed
Rock mass into the sea and triggered a several meters high tidal wave, one tsunami,
Such a big eruption happens on the volcanic island once or twice a decade. Back then
Fortunately, few people were injured. But the same is true in the larger one
Scale happened at the volcano Krakatau in Indonesia.
Hundreds of people died there due to a tsunami, tens of thousands became homeless. Could
something like that happen in Europe?
Every time lava flows down from the Stromboli, we immediately go on alert.
A tsunami would probably be a few meters high and especially Sicily
Volcanic eruptions, tsunamis – how is Italy preparing for such events?
We at the Institute of Geophysics and Volcanology train the inhabitants of the volcanoes for
such situations until they internalize the right reaction like an everyday routine
to have. And we inform about the social media.