Sicily's airports reopen following Mount Etna's latest volcanic eruption

AFP/The Local
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Sicily's airports reopen following Mount Etna's latest volcanic eruption

A heavy emission of ash into the sky forced the closure of two airports in Sicily's second-biggest city of Catania on Saturday.


Italy's Mount Etna, Europe's biggest live volcano, erupted on Friday night with lava flows and explosive burps, vulcanologists said.

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 kilometres (one mile) down a desertic escarpment called the Valle del Bove (Ox Valley) from craters situated on the volcano's southeast face. 

Sicily's two affected airports - Catania and Comiso - were able to resume operations on Saturday afternoon, although weekend passengers may experience some delays due to the backlog caused by Etna's latest eruption. 


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