BERNHARD EDMAIER / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY BERNHARD EDMAIER / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Lava flow approaching town. View of a large lava flow on Mount Etna approaching the small town of Zafferana Etnea (upper right) at night. Lava is molten rock forced out of cracks in the Earth by pressure from magma (subterranean lava) beneath it. Lava flows generally move quite slowly (depending on the slope and the type of lava), but they are practically impossible to stop artificially, and towns in their way are always destroyed. Zafferana Etnea was not damaged on this occasion. Etna is a very active volcano, and has erupted several times in recent history. It lies on the island of Sicily, Italy.
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