Europe’s most active volcano Mount Etna has erupted – spewing molten lava thousand of feet above the Sicilian countryside.
The eruption, which was captured on camera from Acireale, near Cantania, sent thick plumes of smoke and ash over the Italian island last night.
The breathtaking footage shows the volatile volcano emitting streams of hot lava from the earth’s core.
Breathtaking: Mount Etna, Europe’s most active volcano, spews molten lava thousand of feet above the Sicilian countryside during its latest eruption
Fiery sight: A group of men engage in conversation, seemingly unaware that the volatile volcano is emitting streams of hot lava from the earth’s core
Explosive: The eruption was captured on camera from Acireale, near Cantania. It is the sixteenth paroxysmal eruption recorded this year
Incredible: The explosion – which lit up the Sicilian sky – did not endanger any of the villages dotted around the slopes of the mountain
Risk: However, staff at Cantania Airport have been forced to close airspace above Mount Etna, which is the largest and most active volcano in Europe
Danger: This is because the vast ash clouds could be hazardous to aircraft, as they could potentially melt and coat moving parts with a layer of glass. This would ultimately cause the planes’ engines to shut down
No signs of stopping: The fiery volcano is still in constant activity. It is situated on the geological boundary where the European and African plates collide
Horrific: Mount Etna’s last major eruption was in 1992, pictured, causing a fast-flowing river of molten lava to cascade down the slopes of the mountain
Near-miss: The town of Zafferana was endangered by the streams of the red-hot liquid; however, successful diversion efforts saved the town from much damage
Mount Etna’s current activity consists of continuous summit degassing, explosive Strombolian eruptions, and frequent basaltic lava flows.
It has proved a constant concern for Sicily – with more than 25 per cent of the island’s population living on Etna’s slopes.
The volatile volcano is also the main source of income for the island due to a combination of agriculture – stemming from its rich volcanic soil – and tourism.