Researchers believe this was the most violent eruption in the past 20 years.
Italy’s Mount Etna erupted early Thursday morning and put on a spectacular show after a year of silence.
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Mount Etna is Sicily’s tallest peak and one of the most active volcanoes in the world. On Thursday morning, the volcano started to spew fire and sent plumes of smoke very high into the air, creating a stunning display of an eruption. The smoke reached more than 3,000 feet into the air and left the nearby area covered with a thick layer of ash.
Volcanic lightning was also observed alongside the ash plume, which can happen in the most intense eruptions. The lightning bolts are formed due to positively charged particles that are released from the volcano. But this striking phenomenon is still not well understood.
Scientists believe that it was the most violent eruption from the volcano in the past 20 years. The eruption began 3:20 am local time and lasted an hour while lava fountain touched the heights of close to a mile. The stunning event of eruption was visible from Calabria, a region of rugged mountains in southeast Italy.
Mount Etna is one of major tourist attractions of Sicily which is visited by thousands of tourists every year. Due to its recent history of destructive eruptions and proximity to populated area, Mount Etna is among the list of Decade Volcanoes by United Nations. In 2013, it was enlisted UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
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Sicilian photographer Marco Restivo caputured a stunning footage of eruption.