The Stromboli volcano lies on a small island with the same name off the north coast of Sicily. It’s one of eight Aeolian Islands that forms a volcanic arc in the Tyrrhenian Sea. This past Wednesday, a major eruption took place at Stromboli, leaving the island’s 500 inhabitants and local tourists running for shelter as stone and lava fragments rained down.
Fortunately, no injuries were reported, but alarmed natives stared in awe as a mile-high ash column billowed from the volcano.
Volcanic activity has surged on the small island this summer, and the National Institute of Geophysics and Volcanology identified two major explosive eruptions and 20 minor explosive events that took place in early July. Local news sources reported that a hiker was fatally struck by flying debris when the eruptions began on July 3.
Even though the volcano lies on Italian soil, Stromboli got its name from the Greek word for “round,” due to the volcano’s round appearance.
The volcano has been constantly active with eruptions for 2,000 years. Most of these eruptions, including the minor ones, can be seen from virtually the entire island and the surrounding sea. Thus, Stromboli has earned the nickname “Lighthouse of the Mediterranean.”
Get an up-close view of the Aug. 28 eruption below:
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