Lightshow at the cathedral: Luminous lava lights up Sicilian town as Etna keeps on erupting
Menacing andbeautiful in equal measure, Mount Etna illuminates the cathedral ofZafferana Etnea with its latest violent eruptions.
In thesestunning pictures, Europe's most active volcano appearsto be spewing lava right onto the 19th century church.
The Sicilianmunicipality was in no immediatedanger because the lava flowed into a valley, but flights had to becancelled overnight because of the resulting ash.An act of God? Mount Etna's lava spews across the skylinebehind the 16th-century cathedral of Zafferana Etnea shortly before midnight
Goldenglow: The eruption appears to be running righttowards the cathedral in this image, but the lava has so far beenflowing safely into a valley
Catania'sFontanarossa airport was shut from midnight to 7am thismorning.
The Crisis Unitmet at 1am to monitor the situation until the activity subdued and the flight schedule was back tonormal after the first flight came in from Naples at 7.53am.
There havealready been eight eruptions so far this year.
A blast in May,the fifth of 2011, caused major disruption when lava spewed onto itssouth-eastern slopes and winds swept ash further afield, stoppingflights at Catania'sairport.
Etna is thehighest active volcano in Europe at 3,295 metres (10,810 feet).