Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 16 April 2014

Etna eruption closes air space

Smoke billows during an eruption of Mount Etna volcano as seen from the village of Viagrande, near the Sicilian town of Catania

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.