1 Hiker Killed After Violent Volcanic Eruption Rocks Italian Island

One person was killed on Wednesday after a volcano on the Italian island of Stromboli, a popular tourist destination situated near Sicily, erupted, sending crowds of terrified tourists running for their lives.

On Wednesday afternoon, two explosions at the volcano were recorded 30 minutes apart, followed by roughly two dozen smaller blasts.

At least one hiker was killed during the blasts after being struck by falling debris.

According to RT, which collected reports from Italian media, some tourists fled into the sea after the eruption on the island, which is still ongoing as smoke continues to billow from the volcano's mouth. The sudden volcanic activity reportedly took the island by surprise.

Witnesses also shared video on twitter.

Plenty of photos were also shared.

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Tourists and residents gathered in the center of town to await more news about the incident.

Stromboli has a small population of just several hundred people. But its volcano is known to be one of the most active in Italy, and regularly experiences minor eruptions. Stefano Branca from Italy’s National Institute of Geophysics and Vulcanology said Wednesday’s incident was a "paroxysmal eruption," which happens when high-pressure magma explodes from a shallow, underground reservoir.