Dance of the volcano

Etna the 14 -16th.Februar 2000

union.JPG (6693 Byte)  in deutsch



Welcome eruption  14. 02. 2000, 4:15 pm


This event was observed four km southeast of the SE-conus, elevationon 1300 m o. sl. In spite of the daylight you can see the red shining magma bursts.



Five minutes later the big white/grayisch cloud reached the mainroad. The ash/lapilli began  to fall. The lapillis reached a diameter up to 5 cm.... therefore don't  forget your umbrella!!

Dance of the volcano

Etna the 15.Feb.2000

Eruption at the SE- crater, 17.45 - 18.25 pm



16.30 The SE- crater (height approx. 300 meters), view from the refugio Torre del Filosofo ( alt. 2916 m ). Waiting for the eruption, by very strong wind and minus 10 degrees C°. The distance from the conus base, may be 400m.



The photo above was taken at the third of March by the Poseidon webcam and shows the close position of our Refugio in front of the mighty crater. Nice to see is also the strong changing summit form in less than 16 days. The height of the SE was nearly the same as on Feb the 15th. Between the refugio and the SE - cone the Sudestino, an active side cone


At first Marco Fulle recognized the beginning of the eruption at ca. 17. 45. In the foreground Marco Fulle, Tom Pfeiffer, David Bryant.


Before and during the eruption,  the view in the west direction


The eruptions are rising up to an altitude of 300 m,


18.00- 18.10 h..... after the eruption raised up from 200 to 400 m, suddenly the magma- and glowing ash column increased after an intensive loud roaring to an estimate height of  1000m - 1200m ( world record !)  and took the direction over our heads, and the refugio. The noise of eruption, you can maybe take in comparison with an over dimensional turbine from an aircraft. In this panic situation only one thought is existing,- to find, as fast you can  shelter under the special??? constructed steal and concrete ceiling of the refugio Torre del Filosofo.

In this moment I couldn't decide, running down the whole slope to get at least a little chance. I was restless impressed looking at the cone and I saw  that he gets instable. That means, I made out a clear moving of the whole SE-crater*. The flight trajectory of  millions of red and golden spots in the sky was reaching the vertical of  ca. 1000 m while moving in slow- motion over us the further lapse faster toward to us.

five seconds later, the glowing lava bombs where beating the roof of the refugio, and crashed under whistling  300 m behind and beside us in the ash covered snow field. In the closer environment falling bombs did have a diameter from 20 cm up to one meter...

* after the eruption we could saw the reason. This activity was so strong that the crater was torn in two halfs with a crack of may 5-10 meters more about  lavabombs .


The impressive game of nature takes it's way, and presented us from its most phantastic side. The eruptions with an altitude of 500-600m are getting now stabile. We were lucky, because the strong wind directed the glowing cloud, mixed with bigger lavabombs, away from us in the direction 'Val del Bove', and avoided that get targets of the pyroclastic hail !!!!


All Photos taken with Minolta XG-1, 50 mm, Fuji-color ASA 400


Dancing Etna

Alle Aufnahmen mit Minolta XG-1, 50 mm, Fuji-color ASA 400

The whole SE-crater is glowing and the 300 m broad lava flow is moving in our direction but stopped 250 m before the Td'F. This was the last picture of this event because my camera broked down and it was impossible to take a picture after this technical accident. The six eye witnesses.. Marco Fulle, David Bryant, Tom Pfeiffer, a French camera man, a French woman and me left the refugio at the same evening.


Thanks to Zeus and Co. for observing these spectacular event !

Thorsten Boeckel the Feb. 19th of 2000

The 'la Sicilia' news at the 16.Feb.2000

More about this eruption from David Bryant in the report of Boris Behncke a British camera man who was filming this event. Look at the hompage of Boris Behncke for more scientific informations, here you can  see also the video- clips from David Bryant of the 15 feb.2000 eruptions at the SE !! More unique and phantastic photos with report of the 15.feb an the next days at the homepage of Marco Fulle and Tom Pfeiffer.

Look for the special link for Lavabombs

Thorsten Böckel 19.Feb.2000

After the ash rain of 15 th Feb. 2000 ( streets of Zafferana Etnea )

eru1.jpg (13961 Byte) Eruption2.JPG (27188 Byte)

New eruption at 16.00 pm on the 16th of Feb.2000 ( view from Milo )

 leaving Sicilia with old and new great impressions

" Peace"

The ultimative comparision with the Eiffel tower


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© photos& text by  Thorsten Boeckel, last modification 27.12.2003

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