Mount Etna Many people like to celebrate each New Year with a bang, and going into the year 2001, the millennium, many people wanted to celebrate the New Year with a BIG bang, and Mount Etna, the tallest and most active volcano in Europe, did just that.
The explosion of Mt. Etna, although causing a spectacular sight of spewing ash, rock, and lava, threatened nearby villages of Mount Etna. A state of emergency was announced, causing many families to desert their homes in this region, especially in the nearby village of Nicolosi, home to 6000 residents. However, a new fissure, which allowed lava to pour out towards the east, weakened the flow towards the village, causing the lava flow to stop a mere 2.5 miles from the town of Nicolosi. Other places, mostly tourist refuges around the mountain, were not so fortunate. Just overnight, the lava flowing from the mountain reached Rifugio Sapienza, and the next morning this refuge was swallowed by lava.
The lava also destroyed ski lifts on the mountain as it slithered its way down the large mountain.
The eruption of Mount Etna caused much damage, 3.1 million dollars in damage to be exact. The eruption threatened the jobs of nearby residents who worked on the mountain and caused many losses in tourism and agriculture.
The eruption of this massive volcano, which is located on the Italian island of Sicily, was not a complete surprise. Mount Etna has been erupting since about 1500 BCE, nearly 3500 years! Although in the past the eruption of this ominous volcano was unpredictable, modern technology has allowed scientists and experts to better able predict eruptions. Despite the fact that the government officials and people living around the mountain were not prepared for this natural disaster, this volcanic eruption might have been better prevented. In 1999, experts predicted that there would be a serious eruption occurring in a few years. This prediction was made from the discovery of a fracture on the volcano's northeastern side. Unfortunately, this eruption occurred without any warning.
Despite the fact that this eruption of Mount Etna caused much damage, this eruption, actually has some positive effects. The volcanic ash, which spews from the mouth of the mountain, will eventually weather into rich soil, making the area around the mountain great for farming. Even though the initial impact of this eruption has been negative, it will have a positive impact on the economy of Italy.