Thick smoke is visible from the hamlet of Ginostra as the Stromboli volcano erupts with lava flow oozing down the Sciara del Fuoco to the coastline. Photo by Francesco Nuccio/EPA-EFE
Oct. 10 (UPI) -- A volcano erupted on the small Italian island of Stromboli over the weekend, billowing smoke into the air and sending streams of lava into the sea, but mostly sparing the tiny isle of any major damages or casualties.
Sicilian government authorities issued a middle-level warning after the eruption was confirmed on Sunday morning by Italy's National Institute of Geophysics and Volcanology.
The agency said it recorded a lava flow leading from the northern crater of the volcano which oozed out to the Tyrrhenian Sea through a fissure in the earth's crust known as the Sciara del Fuoco or "stream of fire."
About 400 residents live on the island, which is part of the Eolian archipelago off the northeast coast of Sicily, where the Stromboli volcano has erupted continuously for nearly 100 years.
The volcano has erupted seven times in 2022, with the most recent on Sept. 29 sending ash plumes nearly 1,000 feet into the atmosphere.
Several explosions Sunday from inside the mountain filled the air with dust and rock fragments, but officials said there was little threat to the island's residents because the more dangerous lava flow was confined to the chasm in the ground.
Officials still warned local communities about the possibility of bigger explosions, or paroxysms, that have been known to trigger avalanches and tsunamis.
"These violent explosions can be accompanied by shock waves, which have shattered windows in the past," said David Pryle, a professor of Earth Sciences at Oxford University, according to Newsweek. "Stromboli is one of the best-monitored volcanoes in the world, but when activity increases it can still pose challenges to monitoring and civil defense teams."
In 2019, a tourist climbing the Stromboli volcano was killed and another two injured when the mountainside erupted without warning.
Mount Etna, another active volcano located on the Sicilian mainland, erupted in February and May this year.