Etna 2002

Lateral Eruption 2002/03: Damage done by the lava flow from the South Vent

In December 2002 Roberto Carniel and Marco Fulle returned to Etna to follow the development of the big flank eruption. South Vent had become a giant cinder cone, one of the biggest features of Etna. It fed a voluminous lava flow which in those days damaged the buildings near Rifugio Sapienza. The images on this page show both the lava flow in action, and spectacular strombolian activity at the new South Cone. All times are local (GMT + 1hr). As usual, lens focal lengths help to understand scales.

Lateral Eruption 2002/03: Damage done by the lava flow from the South Vent
14 Dec, 2002, 22h. f=28mm from Rifugio Sapienza. Local people admire the power of an advancing lava flow fed by the South Cone 3km far.
Lateral Eruption 2002/03: Damage done by the lava flow from the South Vent
14 Dec, 23h. f=28mm from Rifugio Sapienza. The South Cone, hidden by Montagnola, erupts its huge lava flow and an ash column illuminated by the lava below.
Lateral Eruption 2002/03: Damage done by the lava flow from the South Vent
16 Dec, 17h. f=16mm (fish-eye lens) from Rifugio Sapienza. A cameraman is filming a lava flow threatening the tourist office. The moon in the sky.
Lateral Eruption 2002/03: Damage done by the lava flow from the South Vent
16 Dec, 19h. f=50mm from Rifugio Sapienza. The tourist office is half buried by the advancing lava. Catania and Augusta in the background.
Lateral Eruption 2002/03: Damage done by the lava flow from the South Vent
16 Dec, 19h. f=135mm from Rifugio Sapienza. Red lava boulders are knocking at the office door. Others (left) tumble down the slope.
Lateral Eruption 2002/03: Damage done by the lava flow from the South Vent
16 Dec, 20h. f=28mm from Rifugio Sapienza. Firemen fight a losing battle against the huge advancing lava flow.
Lateral Eruption 2002/03: Damage done by the lava flow from the South Vent
16 Dec, 22h. f=28mm from Rifugio Sapienza. The battle is lost: the lava flow has destroyed the office. A tree on the left is waiting for its fate.
Lateral Eruption 2002/03: Damage done by the lava flow from the South Vent
16 Dec, 23h. f=28mm from Rifugio Sapienza. Nothing remains of the tourist office: everything (the tree too) has been buried by the lava front.
Lateral Eruption 2002/03: Damage done by the lava flow from the South Vent
16 Dec, 23h. f=28mm from Rifugio Sapienza. Local shop owners, illuminated by the lava, attend impotent the destruction of their goods.
Lateral Eruption 2002/03: Damage done by the lava flow from the South Vent
16 Dec, 24h. f=50mm from Rifugio Sapienza. Restaurant «Esagonal» is burning: a phreatic explosion below the lava flow has started this fire.
Lateral Eruption 2002/03: Damage done by the lava flow from the South Vent
17 Dec, 8h. f=28mm from Rifugio Sapienza. The same phreatic explosion has thrown bombs which injured people and burnt this car.
Lateral Eruption 2002/03: Damage done by the lava flow from the South Vent
17 Dec, 15h. f=28mm from Piano del Lago. The new South Cone ejects ash and steam rings. On its left: SEC, BN and snowy M. Frumento Supino.
Lateral Eruption 2002/03: Damage done by the lava flow from the South Vent
17 Dec, 16h. f=135mm from Piano del Lago. The new South Cone erupts lava fountains and incandescent ash. From its base steaming lava flows towards snow fields.
Lateral Eruption 2002/03: Damage done by the lava flow from the South Vent
17 Dec, 16h. f=135mm from Piano del Lago. Near a lava flow, a guide and a volcanologist (lower right corner) observe lava fountains erupting dense ash clouds.
Lateral Eruption 2002/03: Damage done by the lava flow from the South Vent
17 Dec, 17h. f=135mm from Piano del Lago. The guide from the «Soccorso Alpino» of «Guardia di Finanza» and the volcanologist return from field work at the lava flows.
Lateral Eruption 2002/03: Damage done by the lava flow from the South Vent
17 Dec, 18h. f=50mm from Piano del Lago. Lava flows exit from the base of the South Cone. Lava fountains throw red bombs on the snow-covered flanks of M. Frumento Supino (left).
Copyright: M. Fulle.