Lava, smoke and ash spewed from a new fracture on the active Sicilian volcano Mount Etna amid an unusually high level of seismic activity.
The Etna observatory said a swarm of 130 tremors have been recorded by midday on Monday, the most powerful registering a magnitude of 4.0.
It reported lava flows from the volcano and said a new fracture had opened near its southeast crater.
The owner of a refuge on the volcano says hikers were being brought down from higher elevations to 1,900m for their safety.
There were no reports of injuries, and so far the spewing ash was not causing disruptions to residents of nearby towns and cities.
Catania airport was forced to close temporarily, however, causing delays for travellers.
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