Mount Stromboli, one of the three active volcanoes in Italy (others being Mount Etna on Sicily – continuous activity, and Mount Vesuvius, near Naples – last erupted in 1944), has been in almost continuous eruption for the past 2,000 years. The last eruption took place on 3 July 2019. The exact moment of the event has been filmed in a sailboat.
There were two major explosive events that occurred on July 3 at around 4:46 PM local time, alongside 20 additional minor explosive events identified by Italy’s National Institute of Geophysics and Volcanology.
Unfortunately, one of two hikers in the vicinity of the volcano’s summit, Massimo Imbesi was killed after being struck by flying debris when the eruption began. His friend, 35-year-old Thiago Takeuti told Italian news agency ANSA that “after the violent eruption, he and Imbesi, sought safety in area flames had already passed”.
Takeuti said “But as we ran through the rocks and lapilli (rock fragments ejected from a volcano), we fell down. He was breathing with more difficulty. I tried to bring him back, but there was nothing else to do.”
We can’t hear the sonic boom in the video above. After the explosion, the video continues for about 47 seconds. The speed of sound in air is about 343 meters per second (1,235 km/h; 1,125 ft/s; 767 mph; 667 kn). In 47 seconds, the sound of the eruption travels about 16 kilometers or about 10 miles. Probably the sailboat was a bit farther than that to the volcano.
If the video was a bit longer we’d definitely hear the sonic boom.
In the video below, a recording of the eruption of Mount Tavurvur volcano (a stratovolcano in Papua New Guinea) on August 29th, 2014, we can hear the scary sonic boom at 0:25. Captured by Phil McNamara.
Mount Stromboli is one of the three active volcanoes in Italy. It is located on the Stromboli island, in the Tyrrhenian Sea, off the north coast of Sicily, which has an area of 5 square miles (12 square km).
The island’s name is derived from the Ancient Greek name Strongýlē, which was derived from στρογγύλος (strongýlos, “round”), after the volcano’s round, conical appearance when seen from a distance.
Mount Stromboli’s height is 924 meters (3,031 feet) from sea level. It is over 2,700 meters (8,860 feet) on average above the seafloor. It has been in almost continuous eruption for the past 5,000 years, and its last serious one occurred in 1921.
There were at least a few thousand people were living on the island in the early 1900s, but after several waves of emigration, the population decreased and now it is about a few hundred since the mid-1950s. The island’s population was about 500 as of 2016.
- Stromboli on Wikipedia
- Speed of sound on Wikipedia
- “Hiker Dies During Volcanic Eruption on Stromboli Island” on the Time website