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Flights resumed at Catania Airport after closure due to ashfall from Mount Etna eruption

Passengers stranded at Catania Airport in Sicily, July 5, 2024
Passengers stranded at Catania Airport in Sicily, July 5, 2024 Copyright Screenshot from EBU video 2024_10243588
Copyright Screenshot from EBU video 2024_10243588
By Euronews with AP, EBU
Published on Updated
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On the nearby island of Stromboli the Civil Protection agency issued its top, red alert warning the situation there could deteriorate. The volcano there also started erupting earlier this week, sending ash clouds two kilometres into the sky and spilling lava into the sea.

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Catania Airport was closed on Friday because of the potential risks from ash in the atmosphere from Mount Etna.

One of Europe's most active volcanoes, Etna began erupting on Tuesday sending lava flows down the 3,320-metre high cone on the Italian island of Sicily.

"The runway at Catania Airport is unusable due to the volcanic ash fall. Both arrivals and departures are suspended," the airport said in a statement.

Flights resumed at around 3pm local time, although some restrictions in services remained in place.

In Catania, Mayor Enrico Trantino issued an order on Friday banning two-wheeled vehicles for 48 hours and restricting the speed limit to 30 km/h due to the amount of ash falling on the city.

The eruption prompted Italy's Civil Protection agency to raise its alert level for the area from green to yellow.

Mount Etna erupts on the Italian island of Sicily, July 2, 2024
Mount Etna erupts on the Italian island of Sicily, July 2, 2024Emilio Messina

Italy's Civil Protection Department, which raised the alert level to yellow, warned that this is not a one-off event.

"Italy, together with Iceland, has the greatest concentration of active volcanoes in Europe and is one of the first in the world for the number of inhabitants exposed to volcanic risk," they said in a statement, "Active or potentially active volcanoes are situated in southern Italy with varying degrees of hazard."

The department also advised locals and tourists alike to "follow the civil protection authorities’ instructions transmitted by radio, TV, in the daily press, on the internet and by the various toll-free numbers that will be set up."

Meanwhile, on the nearby island of Stromboli the Civil Protection agency issued its top, red alert warning the situation there could deteriorate.

The volcano there also started erupting earlier this week, sending ash clouds two kilometres into the sky and spilling lava into the sea.

"Since yesterday Stromboli has been under special surveillance with greater attention because of the red level, so the maximum scale of attention," said Fabrizio Curcio, Head of the Civil Protection Department in Italy.

“An information campaign has been carried out for citizens and obviously there is a reinforced scientific monitoring system."

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