Stromboli erupts, one person dead

Scared tourists take to the sea

(ANSA) - Stromboli, July 3 - Stromboli was hit by a set of violent eruptions Wednesday and the Mayor of Lipari, the biggest of the Aeolian Islands off Sicily that Stromboli belongs too, said one person was killed.
    Mayor Marco Giorgianni told ANSA that the victim was tourist who had trekked up to the summit of the volcano.
    The eruptions caused scared beach tourists to take to the sea.
    Two new lava spouts are creeping down the volcano on the famed island.
    The volcano is also shooting out red-hot rocks called lapilli which are setting fore to cane breaks, local sources said.
    "A huge column of dense black smoke is coming out of the crater," an eye witness said.
    Another said "there was a powerful explosion. We heard a bang, then a column of smoke and lapilli fell onto Ginostra, and flames on the slopes of the volcano".
    Fires have broken out across the island, fire services and forest rangers said.
    A journalist and owner of a bazar at Ginsotra, Gianluca Giuffrè, told ANSA "all the people who were in the village about a hundred tourists and residents, either holed up at home or threw themselves into the sea.
    "The situation is critical even though at the moment there are no people injured".
    Fire fighters and Canadair water-dumping planes are in action.