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Mount Etna is spewing lava above the Sicilian port of Riposto after cracks opened up in Europe's most active volcano.
Its last eruption was six months ago when minor earthquakes caused extensive damage to nearby buildings. But the latest blasts are happening close to the summit and pose limited threat to people, an expert says.
Cracks - Lava - Side - Mountain
Cracks have now opened up allowing lava to spew down the side of the mountain.
Eugenio Privitera, the director in Catania of Italy's National Institute of Geophsyics and Volcanology, says visitors to the mountain will have to be kept away for their own safety.
Phase - Months
He says the latest active phase could be over quickly, or go on for months.
Etna is a popular tourist destination and its eruptions, especially when seen at night, are spectacular to watch.
The Sicilian volcano began erupting at 3am...
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