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Italy’s Mount Etna spews lava in new phase of eruptions

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By the Associated Press

CATANIA, Sicily— Mount Etna, Europe’s most active volcano, is spewing ash and lava once again, but officials say the activity is taking place at its summit and does not pose a risk to people.

In this photo taken on Thursday, May 30, 2019 and made available Friday, May 31, 2019  Mount Etna volcano spews lava during an eruption. Mount Etna in Sicily has roared back into spectacular volcanic action from Thursday morning, sending up plumes of ash and spewing lava. (AP Photo / Salvatore Allegra / MANILA BULLETIN)

In this photo taken on Thursday, May 30, 2019 and made available Friday, May 31, 2019 Mount Etna volcano spews lava during an eruption. Mount Etna in Sicily has roared back into spectacular volcanic action from Thursday morning, sending up plumes of ash and spewing lava. (AP Photo / Salvatore Allegra / MANILA BULLETIN)

Etna began a new phase of eruptions on Thursday as new cracks in the volcano opened up, sending lava down its flank.

The volcano previously erupted in December and sparked minor earthquakes that caused extensive damage to buildings in the vicinity.

Eugenio Privitera, the director in Catania of Italy’s National Institute of Geophysics and Volcanology, says this eruption is taking place at the summit. He says it does not pose risks to local people but visitors to Etna will need to be kept away from the summit for their own safety.

Etna is a popular tourist destination and its eruptions, especially when seen at night, are spectacular to watch.

Privitera says this new active phase could be over quickly or it could go on for months.

The Italian news agency ANSA says the volcano’s activity has not yet caused problems for the nearby airport at the Sicilian city of Catania.

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