Officials with the Italian Institute for Geosciences and Volcanology have observed increased levels of volcanic activity at Mount Etna Volcano in Sicily as of Feb. 11. Explosive volcanic activity increased at the southeast crater through late Feb. 10. The activity produced a new lava flow and an ash plume that rose to an estimated height of approximately 8 km (5 miles). Ashfall was reported in nearby Catania. Less explosive volcanic activity is ongoing at the volcano on Feb. 11.
The increased volcanic activity has prompted authorities to issue several Volcano Observatory Notices for Aviation (VONA,) increasing the alert level for the volcano from yellow to orange and then to red on Feb. 10, before it was reduced back to orange on Feb. 11. Catania Fontanarossa Airport (CTA), located around 31 km (19 miles) south-southeast of the volcano, is the most likely airport to be impacted, but as of Feb. 11, flights are operating as normal. Despite the increased volcanic activity, authorities have not issued any mandatory evacuations for the surrounding area. Additional eruptions could cause low-level seismic activity, ash clouds, and landslides in the surrounding area.
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