Flights serving the eastern Sicilian city of Catania were halted on Monday after an eruption from nearby Mount Etna, local authorities said, bringing fresh travel woe to the crisis-plagued Italian airport.

The 3,330 metre (10,925 ft) high volcano burst into action overnight, firing lava and ash high over the Mediterranean island. The lava flow subsided before dawn, but ash was still coming from one of the craters.

Flights to and from Catania, a popular tourist destination, would be suspended until 8:00 p.m. (1800 GMT), the airport said on Twitter.

Catania Mayor Enrico Trantino banned the use of motorcycles and bicycles in the city for the next 48 hours, because many streets were covered in ash, and ordered cars to drive no faster than 30 kph (19 mph) due to the skiddy conditions.

The latest cancellations at Catania airport, which attracts more arrivals than the island's capital, Palermo, came a month after a fire at a terminal building led to weeks of disruptions for passengers.

The last major eruption was in 1992. (Reporting by Crispian Balmer; Editing by Conor Humphries)