Sicily airport stays shut due to volcano eruption

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Mount Etna, in Sicily, began erupting on Saturday. Photo: Giovanni Isolino/AFP
16:12 CET+01:00
Catania airport in Sicily stayed shut on Monday due to an ongoing eruption of nearby Mount Etna, the highest active volcano in Europe, airport officials said.

Catania, along with the smaller airport of Comiso, was closed on Sunday due to the clouds of ash in the sky.

The company that manages Catania, Società Aeroporto Catania (SAC),said the "direction and intensity of the wind" meant that ash from the eruption was a danger to flights.

Dozens of flights were cancelled on Monday and were re-routed to Palermo also in Sicily or to Reggio Calabria in the neighbouring Calabria region.

Eruptions on Etna are relatively frequent but the latest activity, which began on Saturday, is the most intense in several months.

The lava flow can be seen from Catania and Taormina.

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