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4.8 Earthquake hits Sicily near Etna



File photo: MARIE-LAURE MESSANA / AFP.

A 4.8 magnitude earthquake shook Wednesday the area around Europe's most active volcano, Mount Etna. Four people were injured, old buildings were damaged and the closure of part of a highway forced According to Italian civil defense authorities

. The earthquake was the strongest in the region after Etna erupted on Monday, spewing out ashes and forcing the temporary closure of Sicilian airspace. There was a series of tremors, but the youngest was the strongest.

The National Institute of Geophysics and Volcanology (INGV) said the quake happened in the middle of the night and was only one kilometer deep.

Despite the closure Of a part of the highway that ran along the coast, the airport was opened in the eastern city of Catania, the capital of the province.

The epicenter was north of Catania, and several families had to spend the night on the road. Officials reported that four people were slightly injured.

Two people were rescued from a collapsed building.

The eruption on Monday occurred on the side of Etna and was the first lateral outbreak of a decade.

Mount Etna is 3,300 meters high with frequent eruptions over the last 2,700 years.

The most recent eruptions took place in spring 201

7 and the last major outbreak in winter 2008/2009.

In late March, a study published in the According to the Bulletin of Volcanology, Mount Etna slipped slowly towards the Mediterranean – at a steady pace of 14 millimeters per year.


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