Mount Etna erupts, Catania airport closed
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Mount Etna erupts, Catania airport closed

Tremors have rocked the volcano since Monday morning

Photo: VolcanoDiscovery Italy.

Photo: VolcanoDiscovery Italy.

Sicily's Mount Etna, Europe's highest and most active volcano, erupted on Monday, sending a huge column of ash into the sky and causing the closure of Catania airport on Sicily's eastern coast.

A chain of around 130 earth tremors have rocked the volcano since around 9am on Monday, Italy's National Institute for Geophysics and Volcanology said, with the strongest posting a magnitude of 4.0.

There were no reports of any injuries.

An Air Malta spokesman said a flight from London Southend via Catania had been rerouted directly to Malta. The airline is still evaluating a scheduled flight on Monday evening from Malta to Catania. No other Air Malta flights have been affected.

The 3,330 metre high volcano can burst into spectacular action several times a year, spewing lava and ash high over the Mediterranean island. The last major eruption was in 1992.

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