Mount Etna, the largest active volcano in Italy, erupted yesterday (Feb. 27) for the first time this year, spewing fountains of bright orange lava toward the night skies over Sicily, according to news reports.
The spectacular eruption began Monday evening, but activity at the volcano has since quelled, reported Reuters. The fiery explosion could be seen in the nearby town of Catania, though the local airport remained open and is operating as usual today, reported the Associated Press (AP). Authorities are tracking the eruption, and the resulting ash cloud, but they reported no immediate danger for the various towns and resorts in the area, according to the AP.
Mount Etna is located near the eastern coast of the island of Sicily, and is almost constantly belching gas or lava. The famously active volcano is 10,900 feet (3,329 meters) tall, making it the tallest volcano in Europe.
Though the volcano can rumble to life several times a year, Mount Etna's last major eruption was in 1992. In 2013, Mount Etna was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Original article on Live Science.
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Denise Chow was the assistant managing editor at Live Science before moving to NBC News as a science reporter, where she focuses on general science and climate change. Before joining the Live Science team in 2013, she spent two years as a staff writer for Space.com, writing about rocket launches and covering NASA's final three space shuttle missions. A Canadian transplant, Denise has a bachelor's degree from the University of Toronto, and a master's degree in journalism from New York University.