Monday 23 September 2019

‘We were awestruck’ – British tourists witness Stromboli volcano explosion

The volcano, nicknamed ‘Lighthouse of the Mediterranean’, erupted for the second time in eight weeks.

By Megan Baynes, PA

British tourists have described the moment a volcano erupted on the Italian island of Stromboli.

Images on social media on Wednesday show a large cloud filling the sky, with helicopters deployed to drop water on the fires left by lava.

The volcano last erupted at the beginning of July, killing a hiker and sending tourists fleeing into the sea.

Nicole Bremner, from London, was visiting the island after spending six weeks sailing around the Mediterranean.

She told the PA news agency: “We had anchored off Stromboli last night after watching the eruptions for a few hours. We went back this morning and watched another, then left to a nearby small island. We had just dropped the anchor and were about to go swimming when my partner noticed a larger plume of smoke than usual.

“I started filming and then we heard the large blast and I filmed the plume. We then headed back over to see if we could help with any evacuations.”

She added: “We have spoken to the coast guard and they didn’t move us on and allowed us to continue sailing around but asked us to move in closer to the shore due to the planes dropping water.”

According to residents, the coast guard told them there was no risk of a tsunami.

One witness said: “Locals seem relieved. They say it was inevitable after the July 3 explosion.”

There were no immediate reports of injuries. Some small fires were reported near one of the Mediterranean island’s hamlets.

PA Media

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