Mount Etna spat smoke and ash in a new eruption this week, but Italian authorities said the volcano, one of the most active in the world, poses no danger to neighboring villages.
“We have seen worse,” Stefano Branca, director of the National Institute of Geophysics and Volcanology of INGV in the nearby city of Catania, told Italian news agency AGI.
Believing that the eruption of the southeastern crater of Etna began on Tuesday afternoon, Branca insisted that the latest burst of activity was “not at all worrying”.
Nevertheless, with the rain of small stones and ashes, the authorities decided to close Catania International Airport.
Emergency authorities said on Twitter that they were closely monitoring the situation in the three villages at the foot of the volcano – Linguaglossa, Fornazzo and Milo.
The footage showed a spectacular plume of pink ash above the snow-capped peak, but the cloud had largely dissipated by nightfall, as the lava flows continued to shine.
At 3,324 meters (nearly 11,000 feet), Mount Etna is the tallest active volcano in Europe and has erupted frequently over the past 500,000 years.