Mount Etna's southeastern crater has risen in height after six months of activity, the Italian Volcano Monitoring Agency said Tuesday, making Europe's tallest active volcano taller than ever.
The famed volcano's youngest and most active crater has risen to a new record of 3,357 meters (11,000 feet) above sea level, according to INGV, the National Institute of Geophysics and Volcanology, located in the Sicilian city of Catania.
"Thanks to the analysis and processing of satellite images, the southeastern crater is now much higher than its 'big brother', the northeastern crater, which for 40 years was the undisputed peak of Etna," - said in a press release INGV.
About 50 episodes of ash and lava eruptions from the crater mouth since mid-February have resulted in "a noticeable volcano reshaping," the dimensions of which have been calculated from satellite imagery, the report said.
Etna's northeastern crater reached a record height of 3,350 meters in 1981, but a collapse along its edges brought that figure down to 3,326 meters in 2018.
The crater has been throwing out smoke and ash since February, posing little danger to nearby villages.
In July, the Sicilian government estimated that 300,000 metric tons of ash have been cleaned to date.
Ashes are a nuisance in nearby areas, polluting streets, slowing traffic and damaging crops.
In Catania, a two-hour drive from the volcano, pensioner Tanya Cannizzaro told AFP that Mount Etna is both beautiful and annoying: ash sometimes falls "like rain."
"Depending on the wind, the crash of the volcano reaches Catania and makes the windows tremble," she said, adding that ash stains the streets and balconies black.