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Two video frames captured by the high-sensitivity visual monitoring camera of the INGV-Osservatorio Etneo on the Montagnola, showing a Strombolian explosion at the New Southeast Crater (NSEC) at 03:22 GMT (= local time -2) and strong glow at the Bocca Nuova (BN) at 03:43 GMT on 6 September 2013.

Summit Strombolian activity resumes at Etna

Following a series of small and sporadic ash emissions from Etna's New Southeast Crater (NSEC), which had started on the morning of 3 September 2013, weak Strombolian activity was observed at the same crater in the early morning hours of 6 September (see left frame in image above). Also, shortly before daybreak on 6 September, an intense glow was seen at the Bocca Nuova (see right frame in image above). At the light of the day, small ash puffs were emitted about once or twice per hour from the NSEC (see images below); further observation was impossible due to the rapidly deteriorating weather conditions.

The resumption of - even though rather weak - summit eruptive activity marks the end of four months of complete quiescence at Etna. The volcano had fallen silent after a phase of intense activity, punctuated by numerous paroxysmal eruptive episodes, which had taken place from January 2013 at the Bocca Nuova and then also at the NSEC, and for two weeks between late-February and early-March, also at the Voragine. In particular, the 13 episodes of lava fountaining at the NSEC had repeatedly emitted large quantities of pyroclastic material, which fell mostly over the eastern and northeastern sectors of the volcano, leading to discomfort and material damage in a number of population centers. The latest of these episodes, on the evening of 27 April, was followed by a short series of explosions at the NSEC on 1-2 May, which initially seemed to herald yet another paroxysms, which, however, did not occur. Since then, only degassing has been observed at the summit craters; furthermore the usual bangs and rumblings deep within the conduit of the Northeast Crater were audible, and during the past few weeks, these rumblings have become more continuous and louder.

Two video frames recorded by the visible-light monitoring camera of the INGV-Osservatorio Etneo on the Montagnola (EMOV), showing small ash emissions from the NSEC at 04:28 GMT and 05:12 GMT on 6 September 2013.

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