Wednesday, 17 Jul 2024

'Stunning' volcanic eruption forces major airport to close

Europe’s most active volcano, Italy’s Mount Etna, is causing troubles for tens of thousands of people.

Flights have been suspended at Catania International Airport in Sicily until at least 8pm and at Comiso Airport until at least 3pm today.

Authorities announced the closure of the airspace hours after Etna began spewing hot lava.

British Airways, Ryanair and easyJet departures to Catania have already been axed.

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At least 45 flights have been cancelled and several delayed, with more expected in the afternoon.

It is understood the closure could be extended with little notice, especially if more eruptions occur.

‘Passengers are kindly requested to arrive at the airport only after consulting their airline,’ a statement on Catania International Airport’s website read.

Italian authorities said that the volcano had entered a ‘pre-alert’ phase, moving its warning level from F0 to F1.

Footage shows Etna illuminating the Sicilian skyline late last night.

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