18 January 2022,   02:55
Italy volcano eruption: Mount Etna explodes - spews huge ash column 5km into air

The volcano Etna, Italy, releasing ash and got gas. Volcano Discovery described the blast as a “brief, but intense episode of explosive activity”, with the eruption taking place at 7.30AM local time.

Just 45 minutes later, the eruption had settled down, simmering to a flow of lava down the volcano’s steep side.

The emission of ash and gases began mildly at first, but had intensified by around 9AM and reports said the column of ash ascended five km into the air.

The column of ash was blown south-east of the volcano and affected Bove Valley and the nearby commune of Zafferana where residents are still on COVID-19 lockdown.

Mount Etna’s last major eruption took place in December 2018.