A major explosion saw the Stromboli volcano in Italy erupt on Wednesday at 12.18pm local time. The eruption appears to have come from the summit vents, producing an ash plume that rose hundreds of metres into the sky. The explosion ejected bombs to the upper slopes of the volcano and caused a pyroclastic flow that traveled down the Sciara into the sea, Volcano Discovery reports.
Activity had been very high during the past weeks and the summit area was already closed. Incredible satellite images have shown the intense explosion on the Italian island. According to Italian agency ANSA, Stromboli produced a “loud roar” as it burst into life. From webcam images, nothing unusual could be detected in the minutes before that indicated a major explosion was imminent.
One person, Maria Tavernini, wrote on Twitter: “Another strong explosion in Stromboli. Fires ravaging the mountain on SE side.” Tourist Nicole Bremner said: “We were just at Stromboli volcano watching the small eruptions. We left and then this giant eruption happened!” The volcano is one of the most active volcanos on Earth and has been erupting almost continuously since 1932.
A pattern of eruption is maintained in which explosions occur at the summit craters, with mild to moderate eruptions of incandescent volcanic bombs, at intervals ranging from minutes to hours.
Where is Stromboli?
Stromboli is a small island in the Tyrrhenian Sea, off the north coast of Sicily, containing one of the three active volcanoes in Italy. It is one of the eight Aeolian Islands, a volcanic arc north of Sicily. The island's population is about 500 and Stromboli is among the world's most visited volcanoes.
Stromboli has erupted many times and is constantly active with minor eruptions, often visible from many points on the island and from the surrounding sea. The constant eruptions have given rise to the island's nickname "Lighthouse of the Mediterranean". Stromboli is widely known for its spectacular eruptions which jet fountains of molten rock from its lava-filled central crater.
Because these eruptions are so distinctive and well known, geologists use the word "Strombolian" to clearly describe similar eruptive activity at other volcanoes, according to Volcano Discovery.