A particularly spectacular blast from Italy's Mount Etna volcano belched out a towering cloud of ash and lava stone Sunday onto Sicilian villages, the latest in a series of explosions since mid-February. Italy’s national geophysics and volcanology institute INGV said the powerful explosion at 2 am was the 10th such big blast since Feb. 16, per the AP, when Europe's most active volcano started giving off an impressive demonstration of nature's fire power, coloring the night sky in shocking hues of orange and red (here’s video of an earlier eruption). Increasing tremors rattled the mountain throughout much of the night.
Ash and small lava stones rained down on eight villages on Etna’s slopes Sunday morning, while lava flowed from the southeast crater slowly down an uninhabited side. The column of ash and lava reached a height of 33,000 feet on Sunday, according to scientists who monitor volcanic activity. Locals swept ash and lava stones from their front steps and balconies. They have taken to covering cars parked outdoors with carpets, blankets and sheets of cardboard to make cleanup easier after each blast. Winds helped carry the ash eastward. No injuries or serious damage have been reported after the recent blasts. Geologically active, Etna occasionally becomes particularly noisy and explosive as it has been lately.
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