Mount Etna roars into action

Etna has been lighting up the night sky regularly with explosions, lava fountains and ash plumes, dazzling onlookers and waking up locals with its roars.

The camera team filming the images said eruptions started at 1 a.m. and continued until 6.30 a.m. (0430GMT). Lava flowed down the side of the 3,300-meter-high mountain and black volcanic ash and rocks known as 'lapilli', some as big as a 2 euro coin, covered streets in nearby towns after the eruption.

Etna, which is located above the Sicilian town of Catania, often erupts but rarely causes damage and is believed to have the longest written record of eruptions than any other volcano, with its first recorded observation going back to 425 B.C.

Although the eruptions themselves do not put the local population at risk, residents do have to live with the ash showers.