Italy’s ANSA newsagency reported that tourists, frightened by the unexpected explosion on the small Mediterranean island, had thrown themselves into the sea. The island was the setting for a 1950 movie starring Ingrid Bergman and, with other islands in the Aeolian archipelago, has become a favourite location in recent decades for holiday homes for the rich and famous. One concerned Twitter user posted: “Major #eruption on #Stromboli sudden and major, I really hope everyone is ok the whole mountain just blew up a few seconds ago.”
Another added: “Tourists diving into the sea to avoid lava after Stromboli eruption.
“Sudden and violent. It’s not a particularly active volcano, so that’s a surprise.”
Michela Favorito, who works in a hotel near Fico Grande, on the east side of the island, said: “We saw the explosion from the hotel. There was a loud roar.
“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.”
Fires were reported on the western side of the island and it was not immediately clear if there were any injuries.
Stefano Branca, a vulcanologist with the National Institute of Geophysics and Vulcanology (INGV), said there had been a “paroxysmal eruption” on the island, when high-pressure magma explodes from a shallow, underground reservoir. “
He added: “These are events of great intensity and quite rare.”
Stromboli, one of the eight Aeolian Islands, has erupted many times and is constantly active, often visible from many points on the island and from the surrounding sea.
As a a result, it is known as the “Lighthouse of the Mediterranean”.
The island was the setting for a 1950 movie starring Ingrid Bergman and, with other islands in the Aeolian archipelago, has become a favourite location in recent decades for holiday homes for the rich and famous.
Published at Wed, 03 Jul 2019 15:36:00 +0000