Mount Etna Erupts, Massive Ash Cloud Looms Over Eastern Sicily

(Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

Bryan Babb Contributor
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Mount Etna, a volcano located in Sicily, Italy, erupted Monday, causing lava to flow and a massive cloud of ash to loom over seven miles over the eastern half of Sicily.

There were no injury reports immediately following the blast, according to the Associated Press. Additionally, there were no reports of property damage to the towns and homes on Etna’s slopes as the volcano erupted, the outlet reported. (RELATED: Volcano Eruption In Tonga Hundreds Of Times More Powerful Than Hiroshima, NASA Says)

The lava flow was concentrated on a crater in Etna’s southeast slope, with the flow coming to a stop on Monday afternoon, according to the AP. Etna’s volcanic cloud was large and dense enough that Italy’s National Institute of Geophysics and Volcanology had to give warning to nearby aircraft, the outlet reported.

Monday’s eruption marks the second time Etna has exploded in February, as Etna is one of Europe’s most active volcanoes, according to Reuters. The volcano last erupted Thursday, Feb. 17, setting the night sky alight with explosive bursts of fire and lava, the outlet reported.

The slopes of Etna are a popular tourist attraction, with visitors from around the world taking excursions to the volcano’s craters with the help of guides. In 2017, crew members of the BBC as well as tourists on Etna’s slopes were injured when the volcano suddenly began spewing “burning boulders and boiling steam,” according to a tweet from the BBC’s Rebecca Morelle.