Shortly afterwards, two effusive fissures opened below
the collapsed terrace at an altitude of approximately 400 and 500m. Over a
short period, large quantities of lava were emitted from these vents,
resulting in the formation of a delta at the base of the Sciara del Fuoco.
I heard about the eruption one day after ibegan, on the
28th of March. In the afternoon i decided to book the first flight to
Catania the next morning. Thus it was possible to standoverlooking the
lava stream on the evening of the 29th of February, a new record! Things
nearly went wrong, as strong waves nearly exceeded the safety-limit of the
hydrofoil. The boat nevertheless reached the island briefly after sunset.
The reflection of the lava
stream in the background of the settlements appeared dramatic.
the fast journey the high lava output had decreased, and now the two lava
streams clearly were being fed from a single vent at approx. 400m.
rapid, yet not explosive. Nearly comparably with the Bocca Nuova lava
stream at Mt. Etna last November.
This activity persisted without major fluctuations for
the next days. Sporadic littoral explosions resulted from the entrance of
lava into the sea. The steam pressure driving these tephra jets resulted
in ejected material reaching significant heights.
This could be
observed particularly well from a chartered boat containing myself and
further well-known friends (Marco, Tom, Marc etc..), with which we
approached the sea entry on the 4th of March.
Unfortunately, cloud cover down to 400m made observation difficult. Only
on Sunday morning the weather changed and it became clear and windless.
was scheduled for Monday. Thus the last hours were rather hectic. Ascent
to a level of 400m was possible, attempts to ascend further were prevented
by the police although without further consequences such as a penalty.
Climbing as far as the summit area was however strictly prohibited. Even
in the morning there were controls, as Marc unfortunately found out.
Nevertheless, i decided to investigate the summit area. The large
quantity of brown ash was surprising, and my footprints were the first on
The complete 600m terrace with the old Hornitos has
broken and a large crack has formed between the crater area and the
terrace below. The summit area appeared completely calm during my visit,
and no traces of last years hornitos could be seen. Maybe they collapsed,
but dense sulphur dioxide rich gases prevented a visual assessment. Due to
the already early morning appearance of helicopters (Hawaii Feeling) it
was necessary to retreat. So I descended rapidly to a less sensitive area.
Nevertheless nice memories remained, including feeling the considerable
warmth of the lava stream whilst perched on a rock at approx. 350m
altitude. Climbing down directly to the flow appeared to me senseless,
since the island administration would have probably reacted 100%
departure the activity changed several times, and after I left, small
pyroclastic flows were observed. See
All in all it was the experience of a completely different Stromboli
eruption behaviour after years of conventional activity. The impressions
had been of a rather aesthetic nature, but access to the lava is much more
difficult than at Mt. Etna or in Hawaii.
Impressions of the island
The total moon eclipse
But that was not all, an celestial extra benifit was
shown by the red moon during the total moon eclipse.