Latest blog articles
Tourists narrowly escape as Mount Etna spews molten rocks
Thirty-five tourists, their guides, and BBC film crew escaped serious injury after they were forced to turn and run down Sicily’s Mount Etna, pelted from above by potentially deadly, searing debris.
The group had come to witness one of the world’s most frequently erupting volcanoes, when a phreatic explosion, caused when lava hit thick snow, sent up a billow of steam followed by “boiling rocks and boulders” that began raining debris on the group as it retreated through “whiteout” conditions, according to BBC journalist Rebecca Morelle, whose camera woman kept it rolling throughout the ordeal.
The new lava flow, which began two days ago, likely topped 1,000 degrees Celsius, or 1,832 degrees F., in temperature.
Do you know Planet Earth? Take the quiz. [/url]" data-reactid="8">Recommended: Do you know Planet Earth? Take the quiz.
The guides with the group helped escort the tourists to safety after the explosion began at around midday on Thursday, authorities said.
Some in the group had items of clothing burned all the way through by the falling debris, and four people were hospitalized but none of the injuries were reported “grave,” the Associated Press reported.
The president of the Italian Alpine Club chapter in Catania, Umberto Marino, was traveling up the volcano in a snowcat when injured people started running back toward him.
Standing at 11,000 feet, Etna is Europe’s largest volcano and erupts frequently and with little warning through any of its many vents. Residents, along with thousands of visitors each year, sometimes catch spectacular views of fountains of lava shooting into the night sky.
The earliest local records of Etna’s volcanic activity date back to 1500 B.C.
As a result of Thursday’s eruption, officials said flights arriving at Catania airport would be halved to five an hour because of ash clouds, but departures would continue uninterrupted.
Even though Etna is hyperactive, injuries to tourists visiting the volcano on the eastern coast of Sicily are rare. Authorities limited access to Etna’s more dangerous areas after nine tourists were killed there in 1979.
The group involved in Thursday’s incident were in a zone where people were permitted if accompanied by a guide.
Italy's volcanology institute is continuing to monitor the situation.
This report contains material from the Associated Press.
- Do you know Planet Earth? Take the quiz.
- First Look
Alaska's Bogsolof Volcano continues erupting, disrupting flights
- First Look
Rumblings of Italy's supervolcano: Will the sleeping giant awaken?
Read this story at csmonitor.com
Become a part of the Monitor community
- Become a Facebook fan!
- Follow us on Twitter!
- Follow us on Google+
- Link up with us!
- Subscribe to our RSS feeds!
Davos forum chief: 'It's important to listen' to populists
DAVOS, Switzerland (AP) — The head of the Davos economic conference says "it's important to listen to the populists" and hopes to welcome Donald Trump "expressing his ideas" at the Swiss forum one day.Critics often accuse the yearly World Economic Forum in the Swiss Alps as a snowbound playground for well-heeled business and political elites.But founder Klaus Schwab said in an interview Sunday with The Associated Press that this year's event, which opens on Monday, is reaching out to populist… chat_bubble_outline Read More...
Trump mounts bid to turn Clinton controversy to his advantage
By Steve HollandPHOENIX (Reuters) - Sensing a potential turning point, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump mounted a furious effort on Saturday to portray Democrat Hillary Clinton as unfit to lead the country after the latest chapter in her email controversy unfolded as he tries to mount a comeback.With the Nov. 8 election only 10 days away, Trump devoted much of his stump speech to try to take the maximum advantage of the FBI's disclosure that it is investigating more emails as part… chat_bubble_outline Read More...
Japanese Billionaire Celebrates Trump, Who Celebrates Him Back
President-elect Donald Trump, accompanied by SoftBank CEO Masayoshi Son, speaks to members of the media at Trump Tower in New York, Tuesday, Dec. 6, 2016. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik) Andrew Harnik / AP Google Finance chat_bubble_outline Read More...
Valve reveals Steam’s top 100 best-selling games of 2016
As stressful and difficult as 2016 was for the real world, it was an incredible year for video games. Some of the most anticipated games of the decade — Final Fantasy XV and The Last Guardian — finally saw the light of day, Nintendo changed mobile gaming forever with the release of Pokemon Go and Super Mario Run, and life simulator Stardew Valley provided the perfect escape from reality.In celebration of the year that was 2016, Valve has put together a comprehensive list of the top 100 best… chat_bubble_outline Read More...
Poles stage new protests over planned abortion restrictions
WARSAW, Poland (AP) — Polish women again donned black and took to the streets on Sunday, launching another round of protests against efforts by the nation's conservative leaders to tighten Poland's already restrictive abortion law.A large group gathered Sunday outside the parliament building in Warsaw, chanting "We have had enough!" Polish media reported that similar protests were happening in cities and towns across the country.The street protests are expected to continue on Monday, when some… chat_bubble_outline Read More...