Sicily’s volcano Etna, pictured, has been displaying her power this week, both with eruptive activity and an earthquake, centered below the surface of the town of Viagrande on the south slope. Thankfully, the injuries from the quake were limited, and although there was damage to centuries old buildings in the village of Fleri, for example, for the most part, the most casualties of the events have been some shaken spirits.
Many who are unfamiliar with volcanoes may not know that there are different kinds. Etna is not like the most notorious volcanoes known to Americans: Vesuvius and Mount Saint Helen’s, to name two. These explosive, unpredictable volcanoes are known as pyroclastic volcanoes. Set that aside! Etna is different. Unlike a pyroclastic volcano, Etna is always erupting to an extent. She is slow and mostly predictable, and that is a good thing!
Those who live and work on her slopes know that eruptions, tremors, and earthquakes are part of life. So, as much as it sounds scarey to us, to Sicilians, her recent behavior is expected. This is to say that you should not be dissuaded from traveling to Sicily because of Etna’s activity. In fact, you should be more inspired, because this UNESCO site offers you another dimension to your exploration of the island.
Amunì! (Let’s go!)