(A slightly smoking Mt Etna taken from the Nebrodi Mountains last year)
Italy has always been a place susceptible Sicily more so than other regions. I’ve never felt anything, that is until this summer when the Mt Etna volcano has been erupting. Etna has always been relatively active and is quite far away from us towards Catania.
In the past we’ve breathed in its ash over as few weeks but it seems to be very angry lately. We’ve been having a series of tremors since the beginning of summer but I didn’t feel anything until one night at around midnight as I was nodding off to sleep I felt a few seconds of pure fear.
The sound of it was what hit me the most; it was like a massive explosion, I thought the old abandoned house across the street had collapsed but then the movement of an 8 on the Richter scale earthquake hit.
It was like a bad disaster movie, every thing just shook and rocked and I couldn’t even moved, then within a flash it was over. We all ran outside, but there was no more movement. I was all over.
Those maybe 4 seconds were enough to make me a nervous wreck for the rest of the week when every little sound or movement made me jump out of my skin.
Losing control of your movement and your surroundings I think if the most disempowering thing that can ever happen. In short it scared the s*** out of me!
My heart goes out to those poor people in the USA who experienced an earthquake just the other week, especially those in NY who justifiably thought the worst after the memories of S11 jumped back into the foreground. And then right after they had Hurricane Irene … talk about fodder for doomsday theorists!!
The earth’s motions here in Sicily have been justified by spectacular fireworks from Etna, with lava being thrown up several hundred meters in the air. One night I was even rewarded by a single Etna explosion which lit up the horizon for a few seconds like a red hot aurora borealis.
There’s nothing like a spectacular natural phenomenon to instil a feeling of awe and fear deep inside your soul.