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Mount Etna's Eruption Intensifies In Italy (VIDEO)

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ROME -- Mount Etna is spewing out ash and shooting spectacular bursts of lava high into the air as the eruption on the island of Sicily intensifies.

Italy's Civil Protection agency said Italy's geophysics and volcanology institute on Monday registered increased explosive activity by the volcano, 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.

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