Mount Etna Eruption Shoots Flames and Lava Into the Sky, Forcing Nearby Airports to Close (VIDEO)

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By Brendan Giusti , Christian Post Reporter
February 9, 2012|1:25 pm

Mount Etna erupted Wednesday, spitting hot molten rock into the air and down the side of the Sicilian volcano.

Lava was still flowing Thursday, though the spectacular show was cooling off, according to reports.

The blast sent fountains of red-hot lava spewing from the mountain and produced billowing clouds of ash and small particles that covered the Mediterranean sky.

The eruption, like previous ones this year, doesn't pose a serious risk to nearby residents.

The snow-capped mountain has been an active volcano for centuries.

Eruptions leveled towns and villages standing in the shadows of the volcano, including a major eruption in 122 B.C.

A major eruption in 1669 leveled at least 10 towns and lava flowed across the land for weeks, threatening more and more towns.

The eruption Wednesday that carried into Thursday was nowhere near as powerful as the major historical eruptions, but a sizable amount of ash and lava have spewed from the volcano.

The flowing lava could be seen for miles and lit up nearby towns throughout the night.

It is unclear why the volcano is erupting so much in recent years. The eruptions are not proving to cause widespread damage and destruction.

Instead, many are taking the eruption with a sense of awe – taking pictures of the lava flow and staring in wonder as the molten rock continues to seep out of the mountain.

Mount Etna stands roughly 11,000 over Sicily, off Italy's Mediterranean coast. It is Europe's tallest and most active volcano.

Area airports were closed Thursday as flames shot hundreds of yards into the sky, according to reports.

The volcano began trembling Tuesday. It is unclear when the eruption will stop.

The volcano's activity peaked a day ago, but lava still continues to flow. Much of the lava is making its way toward the sea, where the water will cool it.

Watch Mount Etna Erupting by clicking below.

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