Italy travel chaos as Mount Etna and Stromboli flare – tourists warned of more eruptions

Tyler Mitchell By Tyler Mitchell Jul8,2024

Mount Etna, Italy’s largest volcano located in Sicily, has been erupting over recent days.

The volcanic activity has escalated, with incredible images captured of lava spewing from its largest crater.

Travellers at Catania airport – a major international gateway to Sicily – experienced significant delays. 

A minimum of 90 flights departing and arriving at Catania airport were cancelled, causing disruption for approximately 15,000 passengers.

Ryanair was hit the hardest, being forced to cancel 42 flights – the highest number among all airlines.

Meanwhile, Italy’s Stromboli volcano – one of the most active in the world – has been spilling lava into the sea following a major eruption.  

The two volcanoes are about 180km away from eachother.

Easyjet were affected too: “We’re sorry that your flight has been cancelled,” they told passengers, “This is because volcanic activity in CTA [Catania] is causing restrictions to the areas in which aircraft are permitted to fly,” reports Euronews.

The Istituto Nazionale di Geofisica e Vulcanologia in Catania reported that ash emanating from Mount Etna has reached as high as 2.7 miles into the air. This was why much of the airspace near the volcano was forced to close to passenger aircraft.

Although normal service has now resumed at the airport Italian authorities have warned trouble could strike again.

Italy’s Civil Protection Department has now warned that this is not a one-off event.

It said: “Italy, together with Iceland, has the greatest concentration of active volcanoes in Europe and is one of the first in the world for the number of inhabitants exposed to volcanic risk.

“Active or potentially active volcanoes are situated in southern Italy with varying degrees of hazard.”

Enrico Trantino, Catania’s Mayor, issued an order on Friday banning local people from using two-wheeled forms of transport for 48 hours as well as enforcing a speed limit of around 20mph (30 km/h). This is because of the potential danger of driving on ash.

Tourist’s activities are rarely disrupted by the volcano that often erupts. It has more than 200 craters so even when one of them is erupting there are many other areas where visitors can safely hike.

So are the eruptions of Stromboli and Etna connected?

Volcanologist Mario Mattia said “two activities that are putting a strain on the observatory” and that “it is very tiring to keep up with these intense activities”.

He added: “At the moment there are absolutely no particular dangers linked to extreme variations, but the fact remains that, being in the summer period, they must be followed with great care.”

Tyler Mitchell

By Tyler Mitchell

Tyler is a renowned journalist with years of experience covering a wide range of topics including politics, entertainment, and technology. His insightful analysis and compelling storytelling have made him a trusted source for breaking news and expert commentary.

Related Post

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *