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Tourists Jump in Sea to Escape Volcano

Eruption killed hiker on Stromboli
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 4, 2019 4:31 AM CDT
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Smoke billows from the volcano on the Italian island of Stromboli, Wednesday, July 3, 2019.   (ANSA VIA AP)
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(Newser) – Minor eruptions of the volcano on the Italian island of Stromboli happen so often it is nicknamed the "Lighthouse of the Mediterranean"—but the one Wednesday evening was very different. Tourists on the island north of Sicily fled into the sea after a huge blast created a mushroom cloud of ash, the BBC reports. A man who had been hiking was killed by a falling rock and red-hot stones caused fires across the island, which has a population of around 500. Stefano Branca at the National Institute of Geophysics and Vulcanology tells Reuters that the event was a "paroxysmal eruption," in which magma explodes from an underground reservoir. "These are events of great intensity and quite rare," he says. The volcano's last major eruption injured six people in 2002. (Read more volcano stories.)

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