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 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 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.