ROME, Italy: Catania's airport temporarily suspended flight operations, as Mount Etna, Europe's most active volcano, was erupting, spewing ash on eastern Sicily's largest city.
Italy's National Institute of Geophysics and Volcanology, which closely monitors Etna with instrumentation on the slopes, noted that cloud cover on a rainy day was impeding views of the eruption, which often serves up a spectacular display of flaming lava during the volcano's frequent eruptions.
The institute said that ash had fallen on Catania and at least one town on Mount Etna's inhabited slopes. No injures were reported.
People in the towns of Adrano and Biancavilla reported hearing loud explosions emanating from the volcano, the Italian news agency ANSA said.
Italy's national Civil Protection agency had noted in an alert that in view of increased volcanic activity, "sudden" variations of Etna's activity could occur.