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.
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.
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.
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.
16 Dec, 19h. f=50mm from Rifugio Sapienza. The tourist office is half buried by the advancing lava. Catania and Augusta in the background.
16 Dec, 19h. f=135mm from Rifugio Sapienza. Red lava boulders are knocking at the office door. Others (left) tumble down the slope.
16 Dec, 20h. f=28mm from Rifugio Sapienza. Firemen fight a losing battle against the huge advancing lava flow.
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.
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.
16 Dec, 23h. f=28mm from Rifugio Sapienza. Local shop owners, illuminated by the lava, attend impotent the destruction of their goods.
16 Dec, 24h. f=50mm from Rifugio Sapienza. Restaurant «Esagonal» is burning: a phreatic explosion below the lava flow has started this fire.
17 Dec, 8h. f=28mm from Rifugio Sapienza. The same phreatic explosion has thrown bombs which injured people and burnt this car.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.