Two Tourists Rescued After Falls During Eruption at Sicily's Mt. Etna

Fri, 04/27/2012 - 03:55

The South Etna section of Italy’s National Alpine and Speleological Rescue (CNSAS) rescued two tourists who slipped on ice inside the Silvestri Crater at Mt. Etna. Tourists have been flocking to the volcano despite the snow and icy conditions since it began actively erupting on the 24th of April.

On the 24th of April, a 50-year-old French woman slipped on the ice in the upper Monti Silvestri area. CNSAS rescued her, though she strained her knee in the fall. The following day, a 58-year-old French woman slipped in the same crater, possibly fracturing her right leg. Both injuries occurred at an altitude of 1,900 metres.

Mt. Etna is currently erupting for the seventh time this year and the third time this month. The current eruption marks a paroxysm, or sudden fit of violent activity, for the volcano. Slow-moving lava is flowing down the mountain, while explosive displays of lava spewing hundreds of metres in the air occur at the eruption point.

The latest eruptions have all taken place in the Southeast crater, near the Zafferana Etnea village. Hot ash has fallen on the surrounding villages, but otherwise left residents unharmed. Of Etna’s four craters—Northeast, Bocca Nuova, Voragine, and Southeast—the Southeast crater has been most active in recent years.

The government and CNSAS have not issued any warnings for the area, and the slope of the volcano remains open to visitors.