ROME: Europe’s highest active volcano, Italy’s Mount Etna, erupted again on Thursday. The eruption - which spewed blood-red molten lava and grey and white ash into the air - is the 24th in a series that started in January 2011.
The Sicilian volcano has erupted three times in the past month, with regular 12 day pauses.
The main eruption is located at the south-eastern crater, not far from Zafferana Etnea village, but so far Italian authorities have not issued any warning of danger to houses and people.
The south-eastern crater, born in 1971, has been the most active in recent years. In the recent past, lava flows have mainly damaged properties, but due to its slow speed the lava has not killed anyone.
Heavy ash emissions sometimes force the closure of nearby Catania International Airport. For now, the airport remains open. Mount Etna, has erupted for the fifth time this year.
Hot lava and ash spewed from the top into a valley nearby on the Italian island of Sicily.
The eruption happened on Sunday morning at 4am local time for more than an hour and a half.
Although the area around the volcano was covered by ash, it didn’t affect planes travelling near it. Air traffic can be seriously affected when ash from volcanic eruptions is in the air.
In 2010, the Eyjafjallajokull volcano in Iceland erupted and flights in Europe and across the Atlantic were cancelled because the ash particles in the air made it unsafe to fly.