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Flurry of Volcanic Ash Briefly Closes Airport

July 29, 2001|From Times Wire Reports

The two main fronts of lava oozing down Mt. Etna appeared to slow, but ash raining from Europe's most active volcano forced a temporary closure of eastern Sicily's main airport.

It was the second time in the two weeks that Etna has been coughing up fire and ash that Catania's Fontanarossa airport closed. It reopened late in the day, news reports said.

The lava moving toward the Sapienza tourist base was about 300 feet from the souvenir stands and had apparently slowed after moving quickly for a few days.

Lava that was headed toward the town of Nicolosi did not move.

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