August 28, 2019

Alarmed tourists watch huge volcanic eruption on Italys Stromboli island
A powerful volcanic eruption on the Italian island of Stromboli sent a huge cloud of ash into the sky, nearly two months after a similar eruption killed a hiker. Frightened tourists watched the eruption as lava cascaded down the sides of the volcano, one of the most active in the world. The eruption was preceded by a deafening boom, witnesses said. Known as a "paroxysmal eruption", it sent up a tall column of smoke and ash which could be seen from many miles away. Water-bombing aircraft were deployed to the island, scooping up sea water to put out small wild fires on the flanks of the mountain. The eruption on Stromboli sent a huge plume of ash and smoke into the sky Credit: Twitter There were no reports of injuries. Video footage showed one boat, with Italians on board, fleeing the island in panic as gigantic clouds of black ash rolled across the sea. On another boat, a British family watched in awe as the eruption took place. “Wow, the whole mountain is shaking,” an Englishman says on a video clip of the eruption. “Oh my goodness, that is really bad guys.” Nicole Bremner, an Australian who lives in London, was on a boat off Stromboli when the volcano erupted. “We were just at Stromboli volcano watching the small eruptions. We left and then this giant eruption happened!” she wrote. The property developer said the smoke and ash had left “a metallic taste in our mouths… waiting to see if we need to help with evacuations.” Water-bombing aircraft were deployed to put out fires on the flanks of the volcano Credit: Italian fire service/AP Some tourists watched the eruption from the safety of the nearby island of Panarea. In video posted on social media, an American woman is heard to say: “Oh my God. I don’t think we should go there today.” The volcano last erupted on July 3, when a 35-year-old Italian hiker was killed by falling debris. He was with a companion who survived. At the time, one tourist wrote: “I’ve never felt so much fear in my life.” Stromboli is part of the Aeolian archipelago of islands, which attract sailors and celebrities during the summer months.  “The situation is under control, but all the same we have activated the normal civil protection procedures,” said Marco Giorgianni, the mayor of Lipari, the most populated of the islands. Volcanologists believe Stromboli has been in nearly continuous eruption for at least 2,000 years and the eruption on Wednesday is not considered unusual. There are small eruptions on an hourly basis, with the volcano spewing out chunks of incandescent lava, ash and volcanic rock from its cone. At night the explosions can be seen far out at sea, lending the island the nickname “Lighthouse of the Mediterranean.” There have been several fatal explosions in the past – four people were killed in 1919, three people in 1930 and one person, a biologist, in 1986.
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