Red alert issued after Mount Etna volcano eruption sparks travel chaos

Activity at Italy’s Mount Etna has significantly increased since Wednesday evening (Picture: SWNS)

Eruptions at Italy’s Mount Etna and Stromboli volcanoes have raised the alert level on the Mediterranean island of Sicily.

Activity at the 10,905ft volcano – Europe’s highest – has increased significantlyin the last 24 hours.

Multiple flights at nearby Catania airport, the main international gateway to Sicily, have been cancelled or delayed.

Ryanair has cancelled a number of flights within Italy – to Rome, Venice, Pisa and Bergamo – while easyJet have axed connections to London, Milano and Napoli.

The moment of he eruption on Thursday was captured on camera (Picture: SWNS)

Meanwhile, some arrivals have been diverted to Palermo, an 125-mile drive away.

There are disruptions to services for the rest of today, but Catania Airport remains open and is yet to comment on the situation.

The Ingv, Etna Observatory, has issued a red warning, meaning that the situation could deteriorate.

It warned that a ‘gradual increase’ in Strombolian activity in the crater Voragine was recorded at 8pm on Wednesday.

Is it safe to travel to Sicily?

The UK Foreign Office updated its advice about travel to the Mediterranean island on Monday.

This is everything you need to know ahead of your holiday:

Due to volcanic activity, local authorities have increased the alert levels for both Etna and Stromboli in the south of Italy. 

In the event of a volcanic eruption, follow the advice of local authorities. See more information on volcanoes.

Airspace can be affected during eruptions. If you are travelling to or from Catania, during this period of heightened activity, check with your travel provider or with Catania airport.

Ingv added in a statement: ‘The average amplitude of the volcanic tremor, after a gradual increase observed starting from 8pm yesterday, has reached the high level, with an increasing trend.’

But this is not a one-off event. Mount Etna has erupted multiple times in recent decades.

Etna and Stromboli were spewing hot ash and lava just a few days ago, forcing a temporary shutdown of the airport.

Footage shared on social media on Friday showed the streets of central Cataniaand cars covered in thick layers of black ash, slowing traffic.

Get in touch with our news team by emailing us at

For more stories like this, check our news page.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Follow by Email