Italy’s Stromboli Volcano Erupts, Sparking Huge Ash Cloud

The Island of Stromboli, photographed here on Sept. 28, 2004 by Steven W. Dengler. (Photo via Wikipedia)

ROME, Italy (AFP) — Italy’s Stromboli volcano off the coast of Sicily erupted Wednesday, according to firefighters who rushed to put out wildfires sparked by 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 hurt, the fire service said on Twitter.

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.

Stromboli, just 4.6 square miles in area and 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.

© Agence France-Presse

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