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WATCH: Activity at Italy’s Mount Etna intensifies, launching more torrents of molten lava and plumes of ash into the sky

The recent volcanic activity at Italy’s Mount Etna intensified overnight, as a large stream of lava spewed out westward from Europe's largest and most active volcano, putting local residents on edge as 2020 draws to a close.

The eruption at the 3,329-meter (10,922-foot) volcano’s southeast crater reignited, resulting in yet another lava-fountaining episode (known as a paroxysm), lighting up the Sicilian skies in the early morning, before filling them with thick clouds of smoke and ash.

Visibility of the event was limited by these dense clouds, but avid volcanologists still managed to capture some spectacular images of lava outflows. 

The paroxysm was shorter but stronger than the event on December 13 and was accompanied by a sharp peak in seismic activity which lasted for around two hours.

According to some reports, the recent activity could mark the beginning of a new cycle of increased paroxysms at the volcano in the coming days and weeks, not ideal news for beleaguered local residents as the end of 2020 comes so agonizingly close.

Also on rt.com WATCH: Italy’s Etna eruption launches flaming debris in the air & creates LAVA FOUNTAINS

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