The rumbling volcano Etna, which started erupting on Monday again, has caused a series of earthquakes.
The heaviest quake last night had a force of 4.8 on the Richter scale. At least thirty people were reportedly injured by falling debris and there is widespread damage to several buildings.
"Fortunately, there are no deaths, only mild injuries," says Italian Interior Minister Matteo Salvini who has sent additional emergency services to the island of Sicily.
The heaviest quake happened around 03.19 hours in the morning. The epicenter was located near the municipalities of Viagrande and Trecastagni, just next to Mount Etna.
Related coverage: Italy – Etna Volcanic Eruption Closes Sicily Airspace (Video)
Several buildings were damaged in Fleri, at the foot of the volcano, where also a house collapsed. Two people have been removed from the rubble by the emergency services. In Santa Venerina, part of a church was damaged. Damage claims from the neighboring village of Zafferena were also received.
Italian media spoke of panic among the local population as many residents walked into the streets. It is the heaviest eruption of Europe’s largest volcano in over a decade.
After the sudden eruption of Mount Etna on Monday, it is still uneasy around the volcano. The Italian volcanology institute INGV says that a new crack has occurred near the south-eastern crater of the volcano. Since Monday, according to the institute, more than 60 earthquakes have been registered with a magnitude higher than 2.5.
The Etna with 3,330 meters is the highest volcano in Europe. It is one of the most active volcanoes in the world.
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