What is some interesting information about the volcano Mount Etna in Sicily? How was it formed, what is its significance to local people, and is it still active?What is its significance to the...

What is some interesting information about the volcano Mount Etna in Sicily? How was it formed, what is its significance to local people, and is it still active?

What is its significance to the local people which can be cultural or economic please. How was it formed and is it still active? Any other useful information would be appreciated! Thank you! (:

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bullgatortail | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Distinguished Educator

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Sicily's Mount Etna is one of the most active volcanos in the world and is in a constant state of activity. It is the largest mountain south of the Alps, though it's size has been in a fluctuating state due to its many eruptions. The first known activity began about 500,000 years ago when eruptions took place beneath the sea. It is believed that eruptions caused a tsunami about 6000 B.C., and this catastrophe may have caused the abandonment of Atlit Yam, an ancient neolithic village in Israel, which is now below sea level.

Various eruptions and lava flows have destroyed many villages over the centuries, the most recent being in 1928 when the town of Mascali was nearly completely wiped away; Mascali was later rebuilt. An eruption in 1971 caused damage to the Etna Obsrvatory and threatened villages on its eastern slope. Mount Etna provides fertile soil for agriculture, including vineyards and orchards. The town of Zafferana is major tourist stop for Mount Etna visitors, and the area produces fruit, mushrooms, honey and chestnuts, celebrated in a fall festival each year.

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