Dec. 24 (UPI) -- The Mount Etna volcano, the highest in activity in Europe and one of the most active in the world, woke up Monday morning producing intense seismic activity and producing a cloud of ash visible from several miles away.
The activity started at 8:50 a.m. local time and just in the first three hours there were nearly 130 earthquakes, according to a statement from the Italian Institute of Geophysics and Vulcanology.
The earthquakes were accompanied by the emission of a dark cloud of ash, it added.
Authorities have issued a yellow alert but are monitoring the activity, Italian newspaper Il Corriere della Sera reported.
The nearby airport of Catania functioned throughout the day without problems other than one hour of flight interruptions, during the afternoon, the newspaper report added.
The last eruption by Etna was in December 2015, which came after two years of silence. It was the most violent eruption in two decades.