Mount Etna has destroyed numerous towns since its first recorded eruption in 122 B.C., including the towns of Nicoli, Catania and Zafferana. In addition to destroying towns, the volcano has caused thousands of fatalities and caused environmental damage to farmland and the environment.
After its 122 B.C. eruption, Roman records claim that the ash from Mount Etna blocked out the sun. The damage to coastal towns and cities was so severe that the Roman government cancelled taxes for 10 years. The 1669 eruption killed at least 1,500 people and caused damaging earthquakes. In recent years, locals have used trenches, dams and concrete to block or divert the lava flows.