Earthquakes and tsunami waves have been registered in the Tyrrhenian Sea off the coast of Sicily after a volcano violently erupted on the Italian island of Stromboli on Sunday.
According to Italy’s National Institute of Geophysics and Volcanology (INGV), the tsunami was caused by the detachment of a large piece of the Sciara del Fuoco section of the Stromboli volcano, which slammed into the sea, creating tsunami waves one and a half meters high.
Sirens were triggered on the island to alert the population, but the civil protection department has said that no people were injured in the incident and reported that the property damage was “insignificant,” as the waves barely managed to reach the coast.
Nevertheless, Nello Musumeci, the minister for civil protection and marine policies, said that the authorities are taking the necessary precautions and have asked about 30 citizens to leave their homes in case the situation worsens. The local authorities had previously placed the volcano at an orange alert level.
“Regardless of the local volcanic phenomena, which can have frequent variations, a situation of greater volcanic imbalance persists. For this reason, the island’s population is asked to stay informed and scrupulously follow the indications of the local authorities,” Musumeci added.
The INGV reported that there was a lava overflow from the north crater area of the Stromboli volcano accompanied by “intense explosive activity,” which continued for several hours, causing at least two major landslides. These turned into pyroclastic flows that made it to the sea and produced ash plumes reaching 1,500m into the sky.
Although experts currently say the lava is following along its natural path, the local authorities have nevertheless closed the island’s schools and have prohibited excursions in the sea.