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Striking new video captures moment when Mount Etna recently erupted

A photo taken from the village of Milo near Catania shows eruption from at Mount Etna, characterized by a strombolian activity on the top of the volcano and lava flows along the entire Southeast crater on January 19, 2021.
(Image credit: Salvatore Allegra/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

New video shows the moment when Mount Etna, Europe's largest active volcano, spewed bubbling lava and hot ash into the Sicilian sky earlier this week.

On Sunday (Jan. 17), lava began "oozing" from the Etna's southeast crater and toward the east, according to Boris Behncke, a volcanologist at the INGV-Osservatorio Etneo in Catania, Sicily, Express reported. By Monday evening, the crater exploded in a "new paroxysmal eruptive episode," releasing bursts of lava, hot ash and gas, Behncke tweeted. 

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One lava flow spilled over the east side of the crater, snaking toward the uninhabited Valle del Bove, a horseshoe-shape depression in the side of the volcano; a second lava flow was also detected on the northern side of the crater, Express reported. The molten lava glowed red against the dark rock, and it showered the volcano's summit with spectacular sparks. 

Related: Big blasts: History's 10 most destructive volcanoes 

Italian authorities issued an ash advisory for surrounding cities, and the debris were found as far away as Fleri, which lies 18 miles (28.9 kilometers) from the volcano.

Mount Etna has almost continuous volcanic activity near its summit craters and in the Valle del Bove, Live Science previously reported. These eruptions near the summit, like the one that occurred Monday, rarely endanger people living nearby. 

Originally published on Live Science. 

Nicoletta Lanese
Nicoletta Lanese is a science journalist and dancer who aims to bring science to new audiences, whether in print or on stage. She holds degrees in neuroscience and dance from the University of Florida and a graduate certificate in science communication from the University of California, Santa Cruz. Brains are her beat. Follow her on Twitter @NicolettaML.