Europe's Most Notorious Volcano Just Forced Another Airport Closure

The eruption came right before one of Italy's largest national holidays, dubbed Ferragosto.

Just a few weeks have passed since the Sicilian airport of Catania, Italy had to temporarily close due to a major fire in one of its terminals, and it was forced to shut down again because of a volcanic eruption.

Mount Etna, Europe's most active volcano, started erupting late Sunday, CNN reports. The activity then evolved into a lava fountain, which, according to the Italian National Institute of Geophysics and Volcanology's Etna observatory, produced a volcanic cloud of ash. The eruption was caught on camera:

For safety reasons, the Catania-Fontanarossa Airport had to close down. According to the airport authorities, it was initially due to remain so until 8 pm local time on Monday, but the airport announced Monday that it would now remain closed until 6 am local time on Tuesday. As a result, a large number of flights were delayed, canceled, or diverted between Sunday and Monday.

"All arrivals and departures are therefore prohibited," said the airport's press office in a statement. "Passengers are kindly requested to present themselves at the airport only after consulting their airline."

The disruption came right before one of Italy's largest and most popular national holidays, dubbed Ferragosto, which falls on August 15 and which usually sees a spike in travel.

Authorities have now said that the volcano entered its "pre-alert" phase, Euronews reports.

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Serena Tara is a Staff Writer on the News team at Thrillist. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram.