Sicily's Mount Etna, Europe's highest and most active volcano, erupted on Monday, sending a huge column of ash into the sky and causing the closure of Catania airport on Sicily's eastern coast.
A chain of around 130 earth tremors have rocked the volcano since around 9am on Monday, Italy's National Institute for Geophysics and Volcanology said, with the strongest posting a magnitude of 4.0.
There were no reports of any injuries.
An Air Malta spokesman said a flight from London Southend via Catania had been rerouted directly to Malta. The airline is still evaluating a scheduled flight on Monday evening from Malta to Catania. No other Air Malta flights have been affected.
The 3,330 metre high volcano can burst into spectacular action several times a year, spewing lava and ash high over the Mediterranean island. The last major eruption was in 1992.
Start of #Etna's first flank eruption for more than 10 years, shortly after noon on 24 December 2018, seen from my home in the village of Tremestieri Etneo, 20 km south of the summit of the volcano pic.twitter.com/152d9F795y— Boris Behncke (@etnaboris) December 24, 2018
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