2004 it was silent at the Mt. Etna when in July and at the
end of August a new eruption phase began. While we decided to
reach the Etna in July, the first
eruption already was gone after 5 days. May the second
eruption should be more successful. In
the morning of the 14 September 2006 we started
through the nebulous conditions near the Rifugio Sapienza.
The range of view was only a few meters. At the
station the view up to the Montagnola was clear. With the
offroad buses we were taken far up to the Torre del Filosofo,
where dense fog expected us. When we reached the east
flank of the SE-crater, a free view on the eruption was
eruption was invariably under a strong activity.
Already during the day, large lava balls were noticed by us which reached diameters
far more then 2 m and brought apprx. 5 to 10 tons on the
Sylke beside a splendour specimen of
a giant lava bullet. A view behind the ball shows that it
must have rolled over large distances. Thus no ejection
from the crater, as you may assume.
The three smaller balls are located
more closely. The lower ball left a clear trace in the
volcanic ash by rolling down, while the middle ball
probably jumped more over the areal.
On their way down the bullets were
catapulted again and again like on a ski-jump. While
breaking and dividing itself into several parts the
movement with an immense speed was straight toward to us .We noticed nearly too late that the
direction of the lava bowl suddenly changes exactly on our location.
Notice! Even on a relatively flat terrain the formed bowls can move still several hundred meters.
With a racing speed a further giant
ball moves along on the lava stream from the July 2006 eruption
again toward to us. Little later the ball rolled further
and stopped beside the old lava
Norbert Fischer before the bullet monster
At the end the ball splitted into
2 halves and was glowing threateningly for hours. When we
visited this fearsome object one day later this giant ball, still
perceptibly the closer environment. A photo of the same ball
by the way is to be seen on the internet site of
Charles Rivière. Charles is located in the
middle of the ball.
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