A series of minor earthquakes was felt near the foot of Sicily’s Mount Etna on Wednesday evening, according to seismic experts, leading to fears of an imminent eruption.
The quakes took place between 22:56 and 00:22 local time, according to Italy’s National Institute of Geophysics and Volcanology (Ingv), which only took into account those of a magnitude higher than 2.0.
Two of the tremors were measured at 3.6 and 3.5 on the Richter Scale, and were felt in several of the surrounding villages. No injuries or significant damage have been reported as a result of the quakes.
#terremoto alle 23:20
Epicentro: Ragalna (CT)
Magnitudo: 3.6 ± 0.2 (ML) pic.twitter.com/lNXm0plY8y
— TerremotiBot (@TerremotiBot) July 18, 2018
Etna, nestled between the cities of Messina and Catania, is Europe’s most active and highest volcano and Italy’s highest peak south of the Alps. Together with Mount Vesuvius near Naples, it is one of 16 volcanoes in the world designated as ‘Decade Volcanoes’ by the UN, which means that they are studied particularly closely due to the frequency of activity and density of nearby population.
This latest seismic activity, due to an influx in galactic cosmic rays, suggests this dangerous Stratovolcano could be about to blow again.
Etna has an average eruptive history of VEI 1-3. With an historical max of VEI 5.
More information on Mt. Etna can be found here, https://volcano.si.edu/volcano.cfm?vn=211060