The Etna volcano on the Italian island of Sicily has put on a spectacular show, spewing fire and ash in the air after an explosion on the volcano’s south-eastern side.
Local media and social media users shared photos and videos of Tuesday’s event, which showed a huge smoke cloud rising from the crater and lava flowing down the slope.
No injuries or damages were reported.
According to the news agency Adnkronos, the lava flow had reached an altitude of 2000 metres.
Despite the spectacular display, the head of the INGV National Institute for Geophysics and Vulcanology in the nearby city of Catania, Stefano Branco, told Italian news agency AGI the burst of activity was “not at all worrying”.
“We’ve seen worse,” he said.
But with a column of smoke and ash rising more than a kilometre into the air, the airport in Catania temporarily ceased operations.
Ash rained down on houses, streets and balconies across the city.
Emergency authorities said they were monitoring the situation closely in three villages at the foot of the volcano – Linguaglossa, Fornazzo and Milo.
Mount Etna is one of the world’s most active volcanoes. At 3300 metres, it is the highest active volcano in Europe.
The volcano in eastern Sicily is considered a UNESCO world heritage site.