Catania Airport forced to close after Mount Etna volcano eruption

Catania Airport forced to close after Mount Etna volcano eruption

CREDIT: Salvatore Strano via Isabella Librano - Twitter / Screenshot

ETNA volcano erupted and was emitting a column of smoke more than a kilometre high.

The eruption of the southeastern crater of the Mount Etna volcano located in Sicily (southern Italy), on Tuesday, February 16, caused strong explosions and lava flows.

The eruption has not posed a danger to nearby towns and the roads in the area continued to operate normally.

The resulting column of smoke did however force Catania Airport to suspend all activity due to visibility problems the airport authorities announced on social media.

Five flights have been cancelled or diverted since the volcanic activity began at 4pm local time.

It caused a shower of ash and stones up to one centimetre deep.

The Institute of Geophysics and Volcanology in the area announced shortly before 7pm local time that the “impressive” eruption was over after an hour of activity, and that lava flows had stopped emerging from the crater. They also said that they had “seen worse”.

The craters which remain active are flowing to the Bove valley, on the eastern slope of the volcano.

Mount Etna, 3,322 metres high, is the highest active volcano in Europe.

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Jennifer Leighfield

Jennifer Leighfield, born in Salisbury, UK; resident in Malaga, Spain since 1989. Degree in Translation and Interpreting in Spanish, French and English from Malaga University (2005), specialising in Crime, Forensic Medicine and Genetics. Published translations include three books by Richard Handscombe. Worked with Euro Weekly News since November 2006. Well-travelled throughout Spain and the rest of the world, fan of Harry Potter and most things ‘geek’.