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One dead after volcano erupts on popular Italian tourist island Stromboli

Photo Credit: James Attlee/@JamesAttlee/Twitter

One dead after volcano erupts on popular Italian tourist island Stromboli

A hiker has been killed after a volcano erupted on the Italian island of Stromboli, throwing ash high into the sky and enveloping the popular tourist destination in smoke.

One dead after volcano erupts on popular Italian tourist island Stromboli

National Institute of Geophysics and Vulcanology said Wednesday’s eruption on Mount Stromboli had started fires on the western side of the small Mediterranean island north of Sicily. Fire crews were being called in from nearby locations and a Canadair firefighting plane was already in action.

One tourist who was hiking on the volcano was killed and another injured, the Guardian reports.

Volcano erupts on popular Italian tourist island Stromboli

An aerial still image taken from police helicopter video shows ash and smoke rising after a volcanic eruption, seen over Stromboli, Italy July 3, 2019. Photo Credit: Polizia di Stato/Handout via REUTERS

The two primary explosive events occurred around 4:46pm, local time, on the island, the National Institute of Geophysics and Volcanology reported. Those events were preceded by lava spills about two minutes prior.

“The analysis of the data of the seismic network made it possible to identify, in addition to the major explosions, about 20 minor explosive events,” according to the institute.

Thirty people were evacuated from the village of Ginostra by hydrofoil, and another ship was heading to pick up other tourists. The mayor of the nearby island of Salina, Domenico Arabia, said that beaches on the island had been closed as a precaution.

“We saw the explosion from the hotel. There was a loud roar,” said Michela Favorito, who works in a hotel near Fico Grande, on the east side of the island.

“We plugged our ears and after this, a cloud of ash swept over us. The whole sky is full of ash, a fairly large cloud,” she told Reuters.

Social media pictures show Stromboli engulfed in a huge plume of smoke, visible from other islands kilometers away.

Stromboli is one of the eight Aeolian Islands, a volcanic arc north of Sicily and a popular tourist destination. Stromboli has been in a near-continuous eruptive phase for decades.

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