An Italian hiker from Milazzo was killed on Wednesday as a volcano on the island of Stromboli erupted.
According to fire brigade commander Giuseppe Biffarella, the eruption injured another hiker on the side of the mountain, throwing ash into the sky and wrapping the popular tourist destination in a smoke.
western side of the island, drawing in fire crews from nearby Salerno and Catania.
"We have reports of several fires caused by the violent explosion," said Biffarella.
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Michela Favorito, a hotel worker near Fico Grande on the east side of the island, said she saw the explosion from the hotel. “We plucked our ears and after this a cloud of ash swept over us… The whole sky is full of ash, a fairly large cloud.”
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Fiona Carter, a British tourist on the nearby island of Panarea, said she heard the blast from 17 miles away. around to see a mushroom cloud coming from Stromboli, ”she said. "Then red hot lava started running down the mountain towards the little village of Ginostra."
As the smoke clouded Stromboli, Carter added that several boats set off for the little island to provide aid.
Stefano Branca of the National The Institute of Geophysics and Vulcanology (INGV) said the eruption was paroxysmal, meaning the eruption occurs when high-pressure magma explodes from a shallow, underground reservoir.
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Tourists often climb to the 3,000-foot summit of the mountain to peer into the volcano's crater, although it was not clear if anyone was on the crater at the time of the blast
Stromboli is one of the most active volcanoes on the planet and has been almost continuously since 1932, according to Geology.com
Fox News' Morgan Cheung and Reuters contributed to this report .