Southern Italy faces travel disruptions amid Mount Etna eruptions

Stromboli and Sicily faced continued travel disruptions thanks to the latest volcano eruptions.
Mount Etna volcano spews lava in Italy
Mount Etna volcano spews lava in Italy / Anadolu/GettyImages

Travel safety is a big topic around the world, as organizations like Boeing are called out for mistakes, and efforts are being made to make airports more technologically sound. Italy, specifically Sicily and Stromboli in southern Italy, have become topics when discussing travel safety as of late thanks to major disruptions due to volcanic activity.

Areas throughout Italy are facing several complications when it comes to traveling in that area. Etna is an active volcano, one of the world’s most active volcanoes, has flared up in recent days spewing smoke into the air and lava into the sea. This has directly impacted Sicily and nearby islands. The Catania Airport was temporarily shut down on Friday. This airport is one of the busiest in the country, seeing approximately 9 million passengers each year.

“The runway at Catania Airport is unusable due to the volcanic ash fall,” the airport said in a statement. “Both arrivals and departures are suspended.”

In total, 69 flights were canceled, while 27 percent of departing and 31 percent of arriving flights were delayed.

Stromboli was hit with a red alert by Italy’s civil protection agency. Civil Protection Minister Nello Musumeci stated that Stromboli is “under surveillance,” and authorities are making sure evacuation plans are in place in case of an emergency.

Additional orders were released on Friday. For example, motorcycles and bikes were prohibited for 48 hours, and a speed limit of 18 miles was put into place due to the amount of volcanic ash.

Since 2000, Mount Etna has had several eruptions of various types on a near-annual basis. Before the July 4 eruption, the latest occurred in February of 2021. If you’re planning to travel to this area of Italy either domestically or internationally, it is important to review the latest information to understand if travel is even possible.