Mount Etna's volcanic activity has increased, sending plumes of ash and smoke into the sky, the National Institute of Geophysics and Volcanology said on Friday.

An eruption was registered at some 04:30 GMT by special cameras. The eruption included small eruptions and releases of ash. The grey smoke is currently visible over the mountain.

Experts from the National Institute of Geophysics and Volcanology assess the situation as stable. However, the incident resulted in a partial closure of airspace over the city of Catania.

Etna is a part of a seismic active zone that lies along the border between the Eurasian and African tectonic plates, whose movement sometimes results in significant earthquakes. The previous eruption of Etna took place on July 14.

There are two more active volcanoes in the Mediterranean region: Stromboli and Vesuvius. However, the most powerful eruption in the region is linked to the extinct volcano of Santorini, Greece, whose so-called Late Bronze Age eruption in the 2nd millennium BC caused huge tsunami waves and resulted in the decline of the Minoan civilization.