Wednesday 21 August 2019

Tourist killed as Stromboli explodes in anger

Photo from the Twitter feed of tourist Fiona Carter eruption of the Stromboli volcano in on the island. Photo: PA
Photo from the Twitter feed of tourist Fiona Carter eruption of the Stromboli volcano in on the island. Photo: PA

Angelo Amante

A volcano on the Italian island of Stromboli has erupted in a powerful explosion, killing one person and enveloping the popular tourist destination in ash.

The person, believed to be a tourist, was killed by falling stones during a walk, a rescue service official said. A second person was injured.

The unexpected eruption started fires on the western side of the small Mediterranean island, which lies north of Sicily, off the toe of Italy. Fire crews were being called in from nearby and a Canadair plane was already in action.

"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 a cloud of ash swept over us. The whole sky is full of ash, a fairly large cloud," she said.

Fiona Carter, a British tourist on the island of Panarea, some 27km from Stromboli, heard the blast.

"We turned around to see a mushroom cloud coming from Stromboli. Everyone was in shock.

"Then red hot lava started running down the mountain towards the little village of Ginostra," she said.

"The cloud got bigger, white and grey. It enveloped Ginostra and now the cloud has covered Stromboli entirely. Several boats set off for Stromboli."

Stefano Branca, an expert with the National Institute of Geophysics, said there had been a "paroxysmal eruption", when high-pressure magma explodes from a shallow, underground reservoir. "These are events of great intensity and quite rare," he said.

Tourists often climb to the 924m summit of the volcano and peer into its crater, with small puffs of molten rock regularly blasted into the sky.

Irish Independent

Today's news headlines, directly to your inbox every morning.

Editors Choice

Also in World News