Etna eruption closes air space
Mount Etna, Europe's most active volcano, has erupted, sending up a towering plume of ash visible in much of eastern Sicily.
Etna's eruptions are not infrequent, although the last major one occurred in 1992.
A spokesman for Catania Airport said the eruption forced the closure of nearby air space before dawn, but authorities later lifted the order.
Several inhabited villages dot the mountain's slopes, but evacuations were not necessary despite the lava flow.