Italian island volcano begins erupting

ROME, Feb. 27 (UPI) -- Residents of the Italian island of Stromboli were on alert Tuesday as a volcano began spewing lava down its west flank.

Emergency officials urged the 750 residents to stay away from the coast, as the last time the volcano blew in 2002, it created a tsunami that created waves higher than 30 feet, a BBC correspondent reported from Rome.


Officials said there were several explosions per hour and one of the lava streams had flowed more than 3,000 feet down to the sea.

Coast guard boats and a reconnaissance aircraft were deployed midday Tuesday, the report said.

The island, north and east of Sicily, relies heavily on tourism, with many visitors climbing to the volcano's peak, which geologists said has been relatively active for 2,000 years.

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