April 11, 2007
Rome - Mount Etna, the highest active volcano in Europe, erupted overnight on Wednesday sending jets of molten lava into the air but not threatening nearby residents.
The white-hot lava jets were thrown 200m above Etna while a spout on the southeast flank of the volcano released two streams of lava in the direction of an uninhabited area.
There was a similar eruption on March 29 while last December the nearby airport of Catania had to be closed at night for two weeks because of ash blown into the atmosphere by volcanic activity.
Etna's last major eruption was in summer 2001.
WASHINGTON - The lava dome growing on Mount St. Helens has muscled the surrounding glacier, shaping the ice into two arms that are reaching farther down the crater's steep slope. In a recent flight over the volcano, scientists discovered the glacier has stretched out dramatically since last fall. A spine of lava split the nearly 700-foot-thick glacier in two soon after the volcano began the latest eruption, which has continued since October 2004. The spreading dome is squeezing the glacier against the crater wall, forcing it higher and shoving the arms northward. The massive May 18, 1980, eruption destroyed 70 percent of the peak's 13 glaciers. The new glacier began to develop inside the newly formed crater a couple of years after the eruption. The steep crater walls shaded the snow, ice and rock that had accumulated in a horseshoe shape around the lava dome. Despite being deformed in the current eruption, the glacier is proving tough, easing initial concerns that the lava dome might cause it to melt rapidly and send floods down the North Fork Toutle River. The glacier's growth has been an anomaly in the Cascades, where glaciers have been retreating for decades. "It's pretty much an oddball." The glacier could be devastated by a powerful eruption similar to 1980's blast, but there is no evidence that the volcano is building pressure as it continues to ooze about a half a cubic yard of lava into the crater every second.
RUSSIA - The Shiveluch volcano in Kamchatka has become increasingly active, discharging heavy gas fumes and ashes as high as two kilometers up. No threat to nearby settlements has been reported. The volcano is practically perpetually enveloped in an ashy cloud that hinders visual monitoring. Powerful gas fumes and steam clouds have been rising up from the top. Heavy streams of volcanic mixtures, rock fragments and melted snow streams have been running down the volcano slopes. Around 250 local earth tremors were registered on the volcano grounds over the past twenty-four hours. An ashy tail has spread to 47 kilometers south of the volcano. Shiveluch is one of the most active volcanoes in Kamchatka. Its eruption has an explosion-like character with the eruption force growing from year to year. The volcano has been under incessant observation. The nearest settlement of Klyuchi with a population of around 5,000 is located 50 kilometers from the volcano. On March 29, the heaviest volcano discharge over the past five years was registered, the volcanic fumes rose to the height of approximately ten kilometers above the sea level. Mudflows that rushed from the top blockaded approximately 900 meters on the Klyuchi-Ust-Kamchatsk motorway that runs some 20 kilometers from the foot of the volcano. The mudflows paralyzed traffic on the motorway. At present, traffic is allowed only for vehicles with a powerful cross-country capacity.