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Mount Etna Spews More Lava and Ash August 5, 2011
Etna fireworks
Etna's eruptions have become more frequent over the past year.
The fourth and most powerful eruption of the past month at Sicily’s Mount Etna was more of a spectacular treat for tourists than a threat to the Italian island’s local population.

Molten lava spewed 800 feet into the Mediterranean sky and down the slopes of the 10,992-foot mountain.

The eruption lasted through most of Saturday and into Sunday morning, briefly causing concern that the nearby Catania airport could be shut down.

But favorable winds blew the ash away from the airfield and most populated areas.

The flow of lava also poured into a valley rather than posing a threat to developed areas.

Etna is one of the world’s most active volcanoes, producing frequent eruptions over the past few decades.

Photo: Rocco Parisi - Flickr