IN PICTURES: The moment Italy’s Stromboli volcano erupts

Italy's Stromboli volcano off the coast of Sicily erupted on Wednesday, sparking a huge cloud of ash.

IN PICTURES: The moment Italy's Stromboli volcano erupts
The eruptions and subsequent fire. Photo: Vigili del Fuoco (Italian Fire Service)

Fire fighters were forced to rush to put out wildfires sparked by the lava flows. Emergency services scrambled to launch motorboats and helicopters after the “strong explosion” in the south-central slope of the crater shook the island, but no-one was reported hurt, the fire service said.

The volcano as seen from a firefighting helicopter, one of two involved in the response. Photo: Vigili del Fuoco

Falling ash from a vast mushrooming cloud covered the roofs of houses in the tiny windswept town of Stromboli, the Repubblica newspaper said, adding that the explosion had been felt on the nearby island of Salina.

The volcano, which is part of the Aeolian Islands archipelago in southern Italy, had been off limits to walkers following a deadly eruption in June which killed a hiker and sent tourists fleeing.

The eruption took place shortly after midday. Photo: Vigili del Fuoco

Stromboli, just 12 square kilometres (4.6 square miles) in area and 924 metres (3,000 feet) high, is just the top of a volcano that is largely underwater.

It is one of few in the world with almost continuous activity, according to the National Institute of Geophysics and Volcanology. 


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