The thick plume of volcanic ash and smoke coming from Mt. Etna has tapered to a thin line over the course of the past four weeks, but a thermal signature was still being detected by the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on the Terra satellite on November 23, 2002. According to news reports, a river of lava continues to flow down the volcano’s southern slopes and is threatening a tourist town. Several small earthquakes rumbled through the island on Sunday, Nov. 24. The plume is streaming eastward over the Mediterranean Sea, and is casting a dark shadow to its north. Mt. Etna began erupting on October 27, 2002.