Mount Etna volcano erupts in Italy, sending up towering ash cloud; airspace briefly affected

Published October 26, 2013

| Associated Press

Mount Etna, Europe's most active volcano, has erupted, sending up a towering plume of ash visible in much of eastern Sicily.

Etna's eruptions aren't infrequent, although the last major one occurred in 1992.

Catania airport said the eruption Saturday forced the closure of nearby airspace before dawn, but authorities lifted the order in early morning.

Several inhabited villages dot the mountain's slopes, but evacuations weren't necessary despite the lava flow.

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