Smoke rises from Mount Etna after volcano-triggered quake damages Italian buildings

A 4.8-magnitude quake on Wednesday hit Sicily around Europe's most active volcano Mount Etna, injuring at least two people, Italian media reported.

At least 300 tremors rattled the slopes of the volcanic mountain during a three-hour span early Monday, including a magnitude 4.3 seismic shake, Italy's National Institute of Geophysics and Volcanology said.

Debris of a partially collapsed house sits on the street in Fleri, Sicily, after an natural disaster triggered by Italy's Mount Etna volcano.

An elderly woman suffered multiple fractures, Agi news agency reported, while 18 people made it on their own to hospital to be treated for minor cuts and shock.

One 80-year-old man was safely extracted from the rubble of his home, the Italian news agency ANSA said.

Debris of a partially collapsed house sit on the street in Fleri, Sicily Italy, Wednesday, Dec. 26, 2018.

Debris stand near the damaged structure of a Church in Fleri Sicily Italy Wednesday Dec. 26 2018. A quake triggered by Italy's Mount Etna volcano has jolted eastern Sicily slightly injuring 10 people and prompting frightened Italian villagers to flee
Debris stand near the damaged structure of a Church in Fleri Sicily Italy. Source Associated Press

Etna has been particularly active since July.

Flights into Catania airport, which were halted temporarily, returned to normal at 8 p.m. Monday.

The quake was also felt in the upmarket Sicilian resort town of Taormina.

Italy's Civil Protection chief said it appeared the activity at Etna was calming down. "The technical experts tell us we're heading toward a cooling of the lava, and we ought to expect a quiescence of the phenomenon (of earthquakes)".

"The Embassy is in touch with its Filipino community contacts in the cities of Catania and Messina who reported that they are safe and that no Filipino national has been affected by the eruption", the DFA said in a statement.

  • Joey Payne