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Italy's Stromboli volcano erupts in 'strong explosion' with lava flows sparking wildfires

a mountain with smoke coming out of it: The Stromboli volcano erupted this morning, spewing fiery chunks of lava onto the tiny Italian island and alarming residents and tourist

Italy's Stromboli volcano erupts in 'strong explosion' with lava flows sparking wildfires weeks after another eruption killed a hiker and sent tourists fleeing

Italy's Stromboli volcano erupted on Wednesday, sparking wildfires and sending a huge plume of smoke into the sky in its second explosion in less than two months.

An explosion of 'high intensity' was recorded at 10.17am this morning, according to the National Institute of Geophysics and Volcanology (INGV) but no casualties or damages were reported.

The Stromboli volcano, located in southern Italy off the Sicilian coast, also erupted in July releasing hot trapped magma in a powerful explosion, killing a hiker and coating the popular tourist destination in ash. 

Today's eruption has been described as 'massive' by Volcano Watch, with locals saying it could have even been bigger than the one in July.

Images on social media show a large cloud filling the sky, with helicopters deployed to drop water on the fires left by lava. 

a close up of a mountain: Italy's Stromboli volcano erupts in 'strong explosion' with lava flows sparking wildfires

a close up of a mountain: Smoke rises from a volcano on the Italian island of Stromboli after a fire broke out following today's 'massive' eruption

Briton Nicole Bremner from London, who witnessed Wednesday's powerful eruption, said: 'We had anchored off Stromboli last night after watching the eruptions for a few hours. 

'We went back this morning and watched another, then left to a nearby small island. We had just dropped the anchor and were about to go swimming when my partner noticed a larger plume of smoke than usual.

'I started filming and then we heard the large blast and I filmed the plume. We then headed back over to see if we could help with any evacuations. 

'We have spoken to the coast guard and they didn't move us on and allowed us to continue sailing around but asked us to move in closer to the shore due to the planes dropping water.'

According to residents, the coast guard told them there was no risk of a tsunami.

One witness said: 'Locals seem relieved. They say it was inevitable after the July 3 explosion.' 

Some small fires were reported near one of the Mediterranean island's hamlets.

The president of the Sicily region, Nello Musumeci, said the docking of private boats in the island had been suspended for a few hours on Wednesday as a precaution.

'Luckily there were no damages to people and properties,' Musumeci said on Facebook.

Local reports said that some tourists were 'very scared' as they watched the explosion from a square in front of a church near the base of the volcano.

There are now fears of a third major eruption of the summer. 

Gianluca Giuffre, who lives in the village of Ginostra on the south-west side of the island, said: ''We were expecting this explosion, even though we didn't know the exact day.

'But we realised that after July 3rd the activity remained very high, there were several small explosions.

a large mountain in the background: Ash rises into the sky after a volcano eruption on the small Mediterranean island of Stromboli, Italy back in July

'And in the last week there have been many volcanic spills.

'Now we'll see if this nightmare is over or if we have to wait for another explosion.'

Stromboli, population 400, is 135 miles southeast of Naples in the Aeolian archipelago and is one of three active Italian volcanoes.

Rumbling almost continuously, Stromboli sends out streams of lava, whose red-hot glows can be seen from offshore at night.

The earlier eruption, which took place in July, was described as 'like a nuclear bomb' and killed at least one man while sending tourists diving into the sea to escape burning rocks.

Navy boats were sent to the island for a potential mass evacuation as the eruption continued to send clouds of ash into the night sky.  

The volcano is one of Europe's most-active and has been erupting almost continuously since 1932, but July's twin explosions were especially powerful.

'It was like being in hell because of the rain of fire coming from the sky,' local priest Giovanni Longo said.

The dead man, a hiker aged 35 from Sicily, was hit by falling rocks as he climbed the volcano with a Brazilian companion, who was found shocked and dehydrated by rescuers.

'Unfortunately one man is dead, there are a few injured, but none seriously,' rescue worker Calogero Foti said.

The twin eruptions, which came at 2.46pm local time, were described as some of the biggest ever recorded on the island and were followed by lava spewing from 'all the active mouths of the crater', officials from the National Institute of Geophysics and Volcanology said.

A plume of smoke and ash billowed more than a mile into the sky.

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Amazon in flames, african woods in flames. Other woods around the world in flames. Sounds to me like Vesuvius will be erupting in the next decade or so...

Yes, it is getting ready to do so. also...there are already some signs of it

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