Flights slowly resume at Catania airport in Sicily as volcano erupts


Catania airport in Sicily gradually reopened to flights on Friday after they were temporarily suspended due to an eruption of Etna, Europe’s largest active volcano.

The airport said it was reopening to departing aircraft on Friday afternoon after the runway was cleared. On X it says “the number of arrivals is temporarily limited to two per hour”.

The airport asked travelers to check the status of their flight before going to the airport.

Flights were suspended after ash clouds from the nearby active Etna volcano shot up to 4.5 kilometres into the air on Thursday, according to Italy’s National Institute of Geophysics and Volcanology (INGV).

On Friday, images shared on social media showed streets in Catania city centre covered in thick layers of black ash, causing traffic delays.

The 3,324-meter-high (10,905-foot) volcano has erupted several times in recent decades.

In recent days, the crater began spewing fountains of red-hot lava and ash.

Italian authorities have also issued a red alert for another volcano north of Sicily, Stromboli on the island of the same name, which has produced ash clouds.

According to the INGV, the Stromboli volcano, with a height of 920 meters and a base that is 2,000 meters below sea level, is one of the few volcanoes in the world that is almost continuously active.

Millions of passengers travel through Catania Airport every year, from where they travel to eastern Sicily, one of Italy’s most popular tourist attractions.


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