Volcanic mountains

Volcanic lightning lights up the skies of Etna

  • ASSOCIATED PRESS

    Smoke billowed from the Mount Etna volcano, seen from Nicolosi, Sicily, southern Italy, on Thursday.

  • ASSOCIATED PRESS A volcanic thunderstorm over Mount Etna, Sicily, Italy generated volcanic lightning in an eruption early today.  Colliding volcanic ash particles generate static electricity which discharges into the <a class=volcanic plume.” loading=”lazy” srcset=”https://www.staradvertiser.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/02/web1_20220211_brk_aet02.jpg 760w, https://www.staradvertiser.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/02/web1_20220211_brk_aet02-300×190.jpg 300w, https://www.staradvertiser.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/02/web1_20220211_brk_aet02-600×380.jpg 600w” sizes=”(max-width: 760px) 100vw, 760px”/>

    ASSOCIATED PRESS

    A volcanic storm over Mount Etna, Sicily, Italy, generated volcanic lightning in an eruption early today. Colliding volcanic ash particles generate static electricity which discharges into the volcanic plume.

  • ASSOCIATED PRESS Smoke billowed from the Mount Etna volcano, seen from Nicolosi, Sicily, southern Italy, on Thursday.

    ASSOCIATED PRESS

    Smoke billowed from the Mount Etna volcano, seen from Nicolosi, Sicily, southern Italy, on Thursday.

ROME >> A particularly powerful eruption of Mount Etna created a volcanic storm that sent lightning flashes dramatically across the skies over eastern Sicily.

A volcano expert from Italy’s National Institute of Geophysics and Volcanology said today that such volcanic storms are rare but can occur during particularly violent eruptions or with volcanoes located near the sea.

Volcanologist Boris Behnke told The Associated Press that volcanic lightning was observed once on Mount Etna in 2021, and before that, in 2015.

The eruption shortly before midnight Thursday caused no damage. But it threw ash more than 10 km into the air above sea level.

Etna is one of the most active volcanoes in Europe and its eruptions are not uncommon.