A volcanic eruption rocked the Italian island of Stromboli on Wednesday afternoon, killing one person. Dozens of people reportedly threw themselves into the sea during the eruption
Italian news agency ANSA reported reported that 35-year-old Massimo Imbesi from Milazzo in Sicily was killed in the eruption while his Brazilian friend who was with him at that time was badly injured.
The two blasts were very powerful, and sent ash and embers raining down on the tourist hot spot, located in Tyrrhenian Sea, off the western coast of Italy,
“It was like being in hell because of the rain of fire coming from the sky,” priest Giovanni Longo told local outlets, according to Agence France-Presse.
The explosions were preceded by lava spills “from all active mouths of the crater,” the INGV said, prompting a 6,000-foot-tall high plume of thick, white smoke.
Firefighters were deployed to extinguish fires caused by the eruption, and a helicopter was dispatched to rescue hikers who were in distress, according to the Italian fire and rescue service, Vigili del Fuoco.
A spokesman of the Fire service, Luca Cari said fire brigade teams recovered the body of the hiker who died in the eruption.
About 70 people were evacuated from the hamlet of Ginostra on Stromboli, according to local media.
The Stromboli volcano, which shares a name with the island it inhabits, is one of three main active volcanoes in Italy. The others are Etna on Sicily and Vesuvius near Naples.