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Volcanic lightning streaks sky over fiery Mount Etna

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

    ASSOCIATED PRESS

    Smoke billowed from the Mt. Etna volcano, as seen from Nicolosi, Sicily, southern Italy, Thursday.

  • ASSOCIATED PRESS
                                A volcanic thunderstorm over Mt. Etna, Sicily, Italy, generated volcanic lightning during an eruption, early today. Colliding particles of volcanic ash generate static electricity that discharges within the volcanic plume.

    ASSOCIATED PRESS

    A volcanic thunderstorm over Mt. Etna, Sicily, Italy, generated volcanic lightning during an eruption, early today. Colliding particles of volcanic ash generate static electricity that discharges within the volcanic plume.

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

    ASSOCIATED PRESS

    Smoke billowed from the Mt. Etna volcano, as seen from Nicolosi, Sicily, southern Italy, Thursday.

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

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

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

The eruption shortly before midnight Thursday didn’t cause any damage. But it did shoot ash more than 6 miles into the air above sea level.

Etna is one of Europe’s most active volcanoes, and its eruptions aren’t infrequent.

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