Stromboli volcano erupts and sends tourists running for cover

Stromboli volcano erupts and sends tourists running for cover

The Italian volcano Stromboli recently erupted and sent tourists and residents running for cover.

Locals dashed away to avoid falling ash and rocks from the eruption of the volcano, which rests on a small island just off the coast of Sicily. Firefighter officials said the eruption led to widespread vegetation fires, and burning material rolled down to the sea.

The volcano began to erupt back in July – spewing lava “from all active mouths of the crater” and a thick ash plume 6,000ft high, said Italy’s National Institute of Geophysics and Volcanology.

Then two powerful blasts rocked the island and sent burning embers raining down on the holiday hot spot.

The eruption, which sent molten rock spilling from the mountain, was likened to a “nuke explosion”.

Emergency services rushed to the scene as the explosion started fires on the western side of Stromboli.

Italy’s National Institute of Geophysics and Volcanology said the smoke reached about 1.2 miles into the sky.

At least 30 tourists jumped into the sea for safety and other people barricaded themselves inside homes as the ash ignited a series of blazes, reports Italy’s ANSA agency.

Officials in the Regional Civil Protection Operations Room said the situation was “under control” and confirmed no injuries or damage to property had been reported. Witnesses said the latest activity appeared to be less intense than the eruption earlier this week which sparked a lava flow down the western side of the volcano and sent dense plumes of ash, debris and volcanic gas into the sky.