ROME (AP) — Sicily's Mount Etna volcano is stepping up its eruption, spewing out ash and shooting lava into the air.
Italy's Civil Protection agency says the nation's geophysics and volcanology institute on Monday registered increased explosive activity by Etna, eight days after the latest eruption began.
The government agency says Etna started spewing out a significant amount of ash in a southeast direction early in the day but that the eruption tapered off in about two hours.
Etna has several inhabited villages on its slopes.
Eruptions are not infrequent, and Italian airliners sometimes have to alter their routes to avoid flying through ash cloud. The airport at Catania city near the volcano wasn't affected by the ash Monday.
(Copyright 2011, The Associated Press)