The Sicilian mountain spewed ash and lava, lighting up the Italian sky and disrupting flights at Catania airport.
While Etna is known for regular activity, its last major eruption was in 1992, when streams of lava oozed down the sides of the mountain. Diversion efforts were able to save nearly all of the town of Zafferana.
The volcano has been tormenting its neighbors since 1500 BCE, when the first records of eruptions show people forced to flee. More than 200 eruptions have been documented since, with the most powerful being in 1669, when lava flows stretched more than 10 miles, and the longest eruption was in 1979, which went on for 13 years.