The tallest and most active volcano in Europe erupted on Saturday. Reuters reported that Mount Etna, located in Italy, spewed lava into the air and sent off a massive could of smoke over the Italian island of Sicily. The eruption was also preceded by underground tremors on Friday.
Fortunately, the eruption did not require any evacuations from mountain villages in Sicily or cause any sort of significant disruptions. However, airspace over Catania airport was briefly closed Saturday morning. The plume of ash rising from the volcano can be seen across much of eastern Sicily.
Mount Etna is Europe’s most active volcano, but its eruptions occur rather infrequently, with the last major eruption occurring in 1992. The volcano has been growing for nearly 500,000 years and has exhibited a variety of eruptions, ranging from violent explosions to massive lava flows. More than 25% of Sicily’s population lives on the slopes of Mount Etna and it is a major source of income for the island. The rich volcanic soil greatly benefits agriculture in the area and tourists flock to the island for a rare glimpse of an active volcano.