Sicily's Mount Etna, one of the world's most active volcanoes, erupted again this weekend, spewing flames and sparks up to 820 feet (250m) in the air as lava rushed down its slopes.

Concerns about an ash cloud blocking the nearby Catania airport were squashed when the wind blew the ash away in the opposite direction. No flights were cancelled and no casualties or damages to property have been reported.

After six months of calm, this was Mount Etna's fourth eruption since July. The volcanic activity began Saturday morning and continued through the day and overnight into Sunday, according to the Italian institute of volcanology.


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Mount Etna is one of the world's most active volcanoes. In recent decades, eruptions have been increasingly frequent with lava flows often threatening the villages surrounding the crater.

The ancient Greeks believed Mount Etna to be the home of Vulcan, the god of fire - to them, Mount Etna's erupting merely meant Vulcan was forging weapons for Mars, the god of war. A composite volcano on Sicily's east coast, Etna's flanks support extensive vineyards and orchards. The volcano has erupted with regularity for over 3,500 years, making it the volcano with the longest period of documented eruptions. At an altitude of 10,922 feet (3,329 meters), it is also the largest active volcano in Europe.

View Saturday's eruption footage: