Mar. II, 1669. Eruption of Etna.—One of the greatest eruptions of Etna, preceded by violent earthquakes for three days, began by the opening of a fissure nearly 12 miles long on the south side of the mountain. A new crater opened 8 miles west of Acireale, the ashes from which formed the double cone now known as the Monti Rossi. The lava stream from the crater covered an area of about 40 sq. miles. It destroyed 14 villages, including Belpasso and Mascalucia, invaded Catania, mounting over the wall 60 ft. high, and finally reached the sea in a stream 600 yards wide and 40 feet deep.