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MOUNT Mount Etna, one of the most active volcanoes in the world, spat out smoke and ashes during a spectacular eruption in Italy

It previously wiped out entire villages after lava and ash were shot several hundred meters into the air

It lies between the cities of Messina and Catania and between the convergent plate edge between the African plate and the Eurasian plate

The towering Mount Etna is the highest active volcano in Europe and sits on a breathtaking 3329 m This makes it the highest mountain in Italy south of the Alps

Mount Etna is by far the largest of three active volcanoes in Italy and about two and a half times as high as the second largest Vesuvius

Etna is one of the most active volcanoes in the world and an almost constant state of activity

The fertile soil around the volcano allows for extensive agriculture with vineyards and orchards stretching across the lower slopes

A nearby airport had to close temporarily after smoke and ash filled the sky

The worst eruption of Mount Etna was on 16 March 2017, when ten people, including a BBC news crew, were injured

Another eruption in August 2018 spewed clouds of ash and lava into the air, but no evacuations or injuries were reported

The volcano is active and is still erupting due to its position between the African and Eurasian tectonic plates, as well as the flaw between the African and solitary microplate

The Lonian plate is inclined backwards so that the Magna mantle extends to the surface

Scientists say the giant volcano is moving 14 mm closer to the Mediterranean Sea each year, which could lead to “devastating” consequences

The Open University geologist, Dr John Murray, believes this is the first slide of this magnitude that has been recorded

In the Bulletin of Volcanology, he wrote: There was “strong geological evidence” that slides have a natural tendency to lead to “major catastrophic sector collapse” and “devastating consequences” such as a tsunami

Research published in Science Advances in 2018 showed a “slow landslide” that could accelerate and move rapidly into the ocean

Dr Morelia Urlaub from the Geomar Helmholtz Center for Ocean Research said in an interview with the Independent that they had monitored Etna on land for 30 years – only a fraction of the age of the mountain

About the landslide, she said, “It could be in 10, 100 or 100000 years have passed – we can’t tell ”

Etna’s most devastating eruption occurred in March 1669, generating lava flows that destroyed at least 10 villages on its southern flank

The lava reached five weeks later, on Nov. April, the city walls of Catania

An eruption in 1928 marked the first time since 1169 that a population had destroyed a center of Mount Etna

Between 2002 and 2003, a series of activities raised a giant column of ash that could be seen from space

From January 2011 to February 2012, Mount Etna was very active and erupted frequently, which resulted in Catania airport being closed several times

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World news – GB – Where is Etna and when did the volcano last erupt?