Mount Etna comes back to life with brief eruption

This image provided by the Italian National Institute of Geophysics and Volcanology shows a strombolian explosion from the active pit crater on the east flank of the Southeast Crater cone of Mount Etna Wednesday evening of Jan. 12, 2011 as seen from Piano del Vescovo, at 1375 m elevation on the southeast flank of Etna. (AP Photo/Boris Behncke, Italian National Institute of Geophysics and Volcanology-Catania)
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This image provided by the Italian National Institute of Geophysics and Volcanology shows a strombolian explosion from the active pit crater on the east flank of the Southeast Crater cone of Mount Etna Wednesday evening of Jan. 12, 2011 as seen from Piano del Vescovo, at 1375 m elevation on the southeast flank of Etna.

Italy's Mount Etna has come back to life with a brief eruption that sent lava down its slopes and a cloud of ash into the sky, forcing the overnight closure of a nearby airport.

The volcanology institute in Catania, eastern Sicily, said Thursday that a two-hour eruption overnight sent a little stream of lava down the eastern slope of the mountain. Nobody was injured.

The volcano also spewed out ash, which rained down and forced Catania's Fontanarossa airport to shut down overnight, canceling or diverting a few domestic flights.

Officials said the airport reopened early Thursday.

Etna is Europe's most active volcano. Its last major eruption was in 1992.