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More than 25 per cent of Sicily's population lives on Etna's slopes, and it is the main source of income for the island - a combination of agriculture, due to its rich volcanic soil, and tourism. The worst eruption recorded was in , prompting civilians to attempt to control the flows The Mount's eruptions have been documented since BC, when civilians were forced to migrate west for safety.
No one had to be evacuated from the mountain-top villages but flames can be seen falling out the sky Powerful:
The explosions destroyed part of the summit and the lava flows reached the sea more than ten miles away. Its latest eruption began in March , and is still ongoing.
Having forced the blocks in, when they broke free they increased the size of the tunnel, meaning the flames spilled out even more forcefully and rapidly.
Etna's current activity consists of continuous summit degassing, explosive Strombolian eruptions, and frequent basaltic lava flows.