Italy could be facing a significant loss of jobs, business closures and international isolation.
Italy's National Institute of Geophysics and Volcanology (INGV) said there were two huge explosions on the southcentral side of the volcano's crater at around 1446 GMT on Wednesday.
Rescue operations are under way in southern Italy after heavy rains flooded a mountain gorge. At least 10 people were killed and another 23 were rescued in the Calabria region.
At least 20 people have been killed and many more injured in a head-on collision of two passenger trains in southern Italy, reports say.
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