Mount Etna is the largest active volcano in Europe. It is located in Sicily, Italy. It is mainly composed of Stratovolcanic Rock. The rock is about 500,000 years old. It last errupted in 2007. It currently stands 10, 910 feet high. Volcanic activity began about half a million years ago. Eruptions occured beneath the sea off the coastline of Sicily. It built up the first volcano made land mass. From about 35,000 to 15,000 years ago, Etna experienced some highly explosive eruptions. The ash from these eruptions could be found as far away as Rome. About a thousand years ago, the eastern part of the volcano collapsed. It is considered to be one of the most active volcanoes in the world. The United Nations has dubed it to be a decade volcano. (Chester, 1) The Eruption of 1669 was the largest erruption ever recorded from Mount Etna. It was proceded by earthquakes two monthes before the actual eruption. On the afternoon of the eruption, steam could be seen rising from the top. Once it erupted, the lava flow destoryed many of the towns and villages along its path. The lava flow stretched out about a mile long. One week after the start of the eruption the two main lava branches were approaching the major towns of Paternò and Misterbianco, burying a number of smaller villages on their paths. Ten villages were destroyed in all. After this eruption, many people tried to set up man made paths to try to divert the lava flow away from there towns. After it had cooled, it left behind an extensive tube system. (Behncke, 1) There have been many recent eruptions since the erruption of 1669.
There was one in 1928. It was the first eruptions since 1669 that destroyed a town. The town of Mascali was obliterated in just two days. In 2002-2003, the biggest series of eruptions for many years threw up a huge column of ash that could easily be seen from space and fell as far away as Libya. Many houses experienced damage from that eruption. It completely destroyed the tourist station...
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