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Italy’s Etna volcano erupts on Sicily, closing two airports

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By Agence France-Presse

Italy’s Mount Etna, Europe’s biggest live volcano, erupted overnight with lava flows and explosive burps, vulcanologists said Saturday.

In this file 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 file photo taken on Thursday, May 30, 2019 and made available Friday, May 31, 2019 Mount Etna volcano spews lava during an eruption. (AP Photo / Salvatore Allegra / MANILA BULLETIN)

A heavy emission of ash into the sky forced the closure of two airports in Sicily’s second-biggest city of Catania. They partially reopened early Saturday.

The activity followed “lively spattering” recorded by the  National Institute of Geophysics and Vulcanology (INGV) in early June and a previous eruption in December last year.

Eruptions are frequent, and the last major one dated back to early 2009.

The institute said this latest eruption was intermittent and the lava was flowing around 1.5 kilometers (one mile) down a desertic escarpment called the Valle del Bove (Ox Valley) from craters situated on the volcano’s southeast face.

 

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