At least one person is reported dead and another injured after a volcano on an Italian island known as Stromboli erupted on Wednesday.
A rescue service official told Reuters a tourist was killed by falling rocks.
“Italian media reported that a hiker had been killed and their partner injured,” according to AFP.
“The unexpected eruption started fires on the western side of the small Mediterranean island, which lies north of Sicily, off the toe of Italy,” Reuters reported. “Fire crews were being called in from nearby locations and a Canadair plane was already in action.”
Eyewitnesses described a terrifying scene as a result of the eruption, which led to fires breaking out in the nearby town of Ginostra.
“It was like being in hell because of the rain of fire coming from the sky,” local priest Giovanni Longo said, according to AFP, which cited Italian media.
“We turned around to see a mushroom cloud coming from Stromboli. Everyone was in shock. Then red hot lava started running down the mountain towards the little village of Ginostra,” British tourist Fiona Carter, who was visiting the nearby island of Panarea, told Reuters.
“The cloud got bigger, white and gray. It enveloped Ginostra and now the cloud has covered Stromboli entirely. Several boats set off for Stromboli,” she added.
Two explosions occurred on the crater’s central-southern side, Italy’s National Institute of Geophysics and Volcanology said.
“These are events of great intensity and quite rare,” INGV expert Stefano Branca told Reuters.
Photos and videos provided a fascinating look at the eruptions and their aftermath:
Smoke and ash billow from from the mouth of a volcano off the coast of southern Italy. The eruption is reportedly responsible for the death of a tourist. https://t.co/Fq4BxVA2OE pic.twitter.com/t8nlobVV3i
— ABC News (@ABC) July 3, 2019
A volcano on the island of Stromboli has erupted causing ash clouds to rise over the island.
— Sky News (@SkyNews) July 3, 2019
#Stromboli #3luglio 21:00, il lavoro dei #canadair #vigilidelfuoco per lo spegnimento dei quattro focolai attivi dopo l’eruzione. Recuperati via terra i due escursionisti a Punta dei Corvi, deceduto purtroppo uno dei due pic.twitter.com/wiNmnboUOJ
— Vigili del Fuoco (@emergenzavvf) July 3, 2019
— Daily Mail Online (@MailOnline) July 3, 2019
Stromboli just erupted. Big time. pic.twitter.com/vajLpp2itV
— Fiona Carter (@FionaCarter) July 3, 2019
View from the Panarea harbor as Stromboli erupts. Hoping everyone is safe on the ground. Visible lava flows headed down the mountain. pic.twitter.com/apZT3G3C57
— Alex Hopson (@TheAlexHopson) July 3, 2019
BREAKING: The volcano on the Italian island of Stromboli has erupted, generating massive plumes of smoke.
— euronews (@euronews) July 3, 2019
The Stomboli volcano “has been erupting almost continuously since 1932,” Reuters noted.
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