Mount Etna spews lava and ash in Christmas Eve eruption

More than 100 earthquakes recorded by scientists

Tuesday 25 December 2018 02:03
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Lava and ash spew from new fracture on Italy's Mount Etna

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.

Etna, the largest of Italy's three active volcanoes at 3,330m, has been particularly active since July. Its last major eruption took place in 1992.

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