Italy’s Mount Etna erupts, authorities close airport

Italy's Mount Etna spews the ash and smoke in Sicily, Italy December 24, 2018 in this still image from a video obtained by Reuters TV on December 24, 2018.

CATANIA, Italy (Reuters) – Italy’s Mount Etna, Europe’s highest and most active volcano, erupted on Monday, sending a huge column of ash into the sky and causing the closure of Catania airport on Sicily’s eastern coast.

A chain of around 130 earth tremors have rocked the volcano since around 0800 GMT on Monday, Italy’s National Institute for Geophysics and Volcanology said, with the strongest posting a magnitude of 4.0.

There were no reports of any injuries.

The 3,330 meter high volcano can burst into spectacular action several times a year, spewing lava and ash high over the Mediterranean island. The last major eruption was in 1992.

(Reporting by Giselda Vagnoni, writing by Gavin Jones; Editing by Toby Chopra)

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