Red-hot lava exploded into the night sky on Thursday (December 3) as Mt,. Etna rumbled back to life for the first time in two years. Nearby Catania airport was closed on Friday morning as ash clouds that descended on the town were deemed a danger to aircraft. The eruption sent volcanic ash as far as to Messina and Reggio Calabria, over 100 kilometres north of the crater. Etna, at 3,330 meters (10,926 feet) is the highest volcano in mainland Europe and the most active in the world.