A massive steam plume spewed on Monday (December 24) as Mount Etna erupted, covering in black smoke and ash the skies over Sicily’s Catania and causing the closure of Catania airport on Sicily’s eastern coast.
According to Italy’s official Ansa news agency, a new fracture has opened up on the base of the southeastern crater of Etna, where an explosive activity is ongoing.
A chain of around 130 earth tremors have rocked the volcano since around 0800 GMT on Monday, Italy’s National Institute for Geophysics and Volcanology said, with the strongest posting a magnitude of 4.0.
Europe’s tallest and most active volcano often erupts but rarely causes damage, while the eruptions themselves do not put the local population at risk.
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.