Earthquake, Triggered by Mt Etna Volcano, Hits Italy’s Sicily

Video Editor: Purnendu Pritam

A 4.8 magnitude earthquake triggered by Italy's Mount Etna volcano jolted eastern Sicily on Wednesday, 26 December, injuring at least 10 people. Government undersecretary Vito Crimi said there were no fatalities.

The earthquake damaged some rural homes, including structures that had been abandoned years ago, toppled a statue of Madonna in the Church in the town of Santa Venerina, and opened up cracks on the highway which was closed for inspection.

An 80-year-old man was safely extracted from the rubble of his home, the Italian news agency ANSA said.

The earthquake prompted several frightened villagers to flee their homes.

Italy's Civil Protection officials said the quake at 3:19 am local time was part of a swarm of some 1,000 tremors, most of them barely perceptible, that are linked to Etna's ongoing eruptions this week.

Etna, the largest of Italy's three active volcanoes, is still spewing ashes. In the recent days, Etna's latest eruption has been shooting volcanic ash, heavy smoke and lava stones into the air, coating roads and homes nearby with ash.

Italy's national seismology institute said it registered a magnitude of 4.8 and occurred at a relatively shallow depth, 1 kilometre (0.6 mile) under the mountain's surface.

The quake was also felt in the upscale Sicilian resort town of Taormina.

The Civil Protection agency said temporary shelters were being set up for people whose houses were damaged or who were too alarmed to return to their homes.

(With inputs from AP)

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