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Active volcano, eastern coast of Sicily, Italy. The highest active volcano in Europe, its elevation is more than 10,000 ft (3,200 m); its base has a circumference of about 93 mi (150 km). Mount Etna has repeatedly erupted over the centuries, most violently in 1669, when the lava flow destroyed villages on the lower slope and submerged part of the town of Catania. Activity was almost continuous in the decade following 1971, and in 1983 an eruption that lasted four months prompted authorities to explode dynamite in an attempt to divert lava flows. Mount Etna also experienced violent eruptions in 2001–02, prompting the Italian government to declare a state of emergency.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on Etna, Mount, visit Britannica.com.