Italy's Mount Etna erupts with ash, lava

Jan. 6, 2012 at 1:46 PM

CATANIA, Sicily, Jan. 6 (UPI) -- Italy's Mount Etna, Europe's most active volcano, is spewing lava and ash in its first eruption of the year, vulcanologist said.

Activity began Thursday morning, pushing an ash column nearly 16,000 feet into the sky, but experts say it presents no danger to nearby villages or air traffic, ITN reported.

At 10,801 feet, Mount Etna on the island of Sicily is Europe's highest active volcano.

Lava was seen flowing from a new crater on the southeast side of the summit toward the uninhabited Valle del Bove region, Sky News reported.

The National Institute of Geophysics and Volcanology said no airline flights in the region have been canceled so far.

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