31 july 2011. Mount Etna volcano on the island of Sicily, southern Italy, started erupting again over the weekend, sending flames and sparks shooting 250 metres into the air, and flows of lava down its slopes. There were concerns that the ash could block flights out of nearby Catania airport, but the winds were blowing the ash away from the airport east towards the Ionian Sea and no flights had been cancelled or delayed. The volcanic activity started on Saturday morning and continued through the day and overnight into Sunday, according to the Italian Institute of Volcanology. This is the fourth and the biggest eruption in July, after six months of calm, with lava fountains as high as 500 metres.