Etna ash plume scrubs three Catania flights

14th 'eruptive activity' this year from Europe's tallest volcano

Etna ash plume scrubs three Catania flights

Catania, April 12 - Three flights were cancelled at Catania Airpirt Friday after two sectors of the local airspace were closed because of towering ash plumes from Mt Etna. Two dawn flights to Rome and one to Bologna were scrubbed. Europe's tallest active volcano is still roaring, belching ash and oozing lava. The latest activity is Etna's 14th this year. Earlier this month the mayors of the towns in its lee called for "urgent" government action. "A few snowflakes in Rome get everyone going while we've been having to put up with these ash showers for years," said Santa Venerina Mayor Enrico Pappalardo. "We want a state of emergency to be declared," said the mayors in a joint statement. Etna saw nine "eruptive events" last year. Its last full-blown eruption came a year ago when it belched out a plume of smoke that caused the temporary closure of Catania Airport. Scientists at the National Institute of Geophysics and Volcanology recorded 18 eruptions of Etna in 2011.

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