Magnitude 4.8 quake hits near Sicily's Mount Etna

Magnitude 4.8 quake hits near Sicily's Mount Etna

Magnitude 4.8 quake hits near Sicily's Mount Etna

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.

An natural disaster measuring 4.8 in magnitude hit Sicily in the early hours of this morning, injuring four people and damaging historic buildings.

Mount Etna, one of the world's most active volcanos, has been erupting since Monday and sending volcanic ash and heavy smoke in the air.

Television reports showed damage in the Sicilian towns of Santa Venerina and Zafferana Etnea.

Italy's Civil Protection officials said the quake, which struck at 3.19am (3.19pm NZT), was part of a swarm of some 1000 tremors, majority barely perceptible, linked to Etna's volcanic eruption this week.

Italy's national seismology institute said it registered a magnitude of 4.8 and occurred at a relatively shallow depth, six-tenths-of-a-mile under the mountain's surface. None of the injuries were serious.

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

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.

An 80-year-old man was pulled from the rubble of a house, the Italian news agency ANSA said.

Mount Etna has been particularly active since July, with experts in Italy saying the volcano has been growing faster recently.

Photos of the damage inflicted by the quake flooded social media. Volcanic ash had covered nearby villages, and flights to and from Catania airport had to be halted temporarily.

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