Two days after the eruption of Mount Etna, the strongest aftershock so far hit the region around Catania. Several buildings collapsed. People were injured.
During the night, Sicily was shaken by the strongest earthquake so far, following the eruption of Mount Etna two days ago. The magnitude 4.8 earthquake hit the region around Catania again. Especially the communities north of the city felt the effects of the earthquake.
“Fortunately, there are no dead, only slightly injured,” said Interior Minister Matteo Salvini. According to the news agency Ansa ten people were injured by falling debris.
Several, especially older buildings were damaged or collapsed. The biggest damage was caused by the quakes in Zafferana Etnea. Plaster crumbled from facades, walls of houses collapsed. Heavily damaged was also a church from the 17th century. Many people spent the night outdoors or stayed in the car.
According to the Institute of Geophysics and Volcanology (INGV), the collision occurred only one kilometer deep. According to information from ARD correspondent Ellen Trapp, Italian media even spoke of a strength of 4.9.
Because of possible damage to the road, the highway between Catania and Messina was blocked in places. Catania Airport therefore called on travelers to allow more time for the journey.
The outbreak of Etna had temporarily affected the flight operations in recent days. On Wednesday there were initially no restrictions, said the airport on Twitter.
Since the Etna eruption earlier this week, hundreds of aftershocks of varying degrees have occurred in the region around the volcano. About 60 quakes were stronger than 2.5.
For ten years there had been no great eruption of Etna until Monday. The new activity of the volcano provides spectacular images, such as glowing hot lava in the dark. According to the Italian volcanologist, the eruption has given rise to a two-kilometer gap on Mount Etna. The volcano is more than 3300 meters high and thus one of the highest in Europe.