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Ash From Etna Closes Airport for Third Time

July 31, 2001|From Times Wire Reports

For the third time, a rain of black volcanic ash closed the airport nearest Mt. Etna, but a lava flow appeared to be slowing.

The red-hot lava was licking the edges of a tourist facility, Rifugio Sapienza, about halfway down Etna's slopes.

The head of Italy's civil protection agency, Francesco Barberi, said the event is outrunning computer simulations used to predict the course of an eruption and lava flows.

Catania's Fontanarossa airport, the main airport in eastern Sicily, was closed by a rain of black ash that made it impossible for planes to land or take off.

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