Mount Etna Erupts, Forcing Closure of Sicily’s Catania Airport

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Mount Etna, renowned as one of the world’s most active volcanoes, unleashed a powerful eruption on Sunday, resulting in the temporary closure of Catania airport in Sicily, Italy. The airport authorities issued a statement explaining that flight operations were suspended until the safety conditions could be restored, citing the extensive deposition of volcanic ash on the airport surfaces.

The region surrounding Mount Etna was shaken by loud rumbles since early Sunday, as reported by the daily newspaper Repubblica. However, the visibility of the eruptions was hindered by thick clouds enveloping the volcano’s summit, according to the National Institute for Geophysics and Vulcanology.

Standing tall at an impressive height of 3,324 meters (nearly 11,000 feet), Mount Etna holds the distinction of being Europe’s tallest active volcano, and its eruptive activities have been observed over the past half a million years. Catania International Airport, a crucial transportation hub servicing the eastern part of Sicily, experienced the impact of the eruption. The airport accommodated approximately 10 million passengers in the previous year, facilitating travel to one of Italy’s most popular tourist destinations. In light of Mount Etna’s recent volcanic activity, the closure of Catania airport serves as a precautionary measure to ensure the safety of travelers and aircraft. The authorities are closely monitoring the situation and will resume normal flight operations once the volcanic ash is cleared and safety is assured.

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