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Mount Etna Erupts, Bringing the First Ash-Caused Airline Cancellations of 2011

Where: Catania, Italy
January 14, 2011 at 2:40 PM | by | Comments (0)

Just when we thought 2010 was a bad year for volcanic eruptions, along comes the first major eruption of 2011—Sicily's Mount Etna—and it's already closing airports. Etna started rumbling earlier this week, and began fully breathing fire yesterday. As a result, states MSNBC, Catania's two airports were shut down due to ash clouds.

Now you may think˜what, who even flies into/out of Catania, anyway? Well, actually quite a lot. It's a nice little destination for several of Europe's low-cost carriers, like both easyJet and WizzAir, not to mention the big ones like Lufthansa and British Airways.Shutting down the airports for one days isn't exactly a small deal.

On the other hand, eruptions at Etna are fairly common and typically don't cause the residents of the surrounding cities to grab their belongings and go running for the sea. Throw some ash in the air, and the airlines will be affected, but for now, that's the extent of Etna's wrath. We hope it stays that way, but you know—the Earth is unpredictable.

[Photo: live webcam via TwitPic]

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