Holiday hotspot in chaos as flights cancelled after Mount Etna erupts

Photos and videos from the scene show local areas blanketed in a layer of ash and smoggy-looking clouds overhanging the area.

The airport said following the eruption, flights in and out of Catania, popular with tourists every year, the airport was suspended until 9am local time on Monday or until they could guarantee safe conditions.

This isn’t the first time Mount Etna has erupted in recent years, several times a year the mountain spews lava and ash high over the Mediterranean.

Despite these occasional outbursts, the volcano hasn’t unleashed a major eruption for over a century, since 1922.

The blasts created by the volcano often create a spectacle of bright lava over the landscape, but cloud cover on the day masked the views of its latest eruption.

Italy’s National Institute of Geophysics and Volcanology (INGV), which closely monitors Etna, said ash had fallen on Catania and at least one town perched on its lower slopes.

They added that their monitoring had recorded evidence of an increase in tremor activity in recent days.

Local news outlet, Corriere TV echoed these statements. They said the presence of Strombolian activity is corroborated by the strong booms heard in Adrano and Biancavilla.

Posting on Twitter, the airport said they hoped flights would be restored, but that passengers should inquire about their flight status.

They wrote: “Etna update on Monday 22 May at 7:00. From 9 am the airport will be operational again and flight operations will be restored, with initial limitations.

“Delays may occur. Passengers are requested to inquire about flight status with the airlines.”

No injuries have been reported following Etna’s latest eruption.

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