Lava and ash are spewing from a new fracture on Italy’s Mount Etna amid an unusually high level of seismic activity at the Sicilian volcano, according to observatory officials.

A swarm of 130 tremors had been recorded by midday on Monday, the most powerful registering a magnitude of 4.0, the Mount Etna Observatory said.

It reported lava flows from the volcano and said a new fracture had opened near its south east crater.

The owner of a refuge on the volcano said hikers are being brought down from higher elevations to 1,900 metres (6,230ft) for their safety.

But there are no reports of injuries, and so far the spewing ash was not causing disruptions to residents of nearby towns and cities.

Etna, the largest of Italy’s three active volcanoes, has been particularly active since July.