Mount Etna: New 4.8-magnitude earthquake hits Sicily

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Mount Etna has first 'flank eruption' in over a decade

A 4.8-magnitude earthquake has hit Sicily near Europe's most active volcano, Mount Etna, injuring at least 28 people, Italian officials say.

Ten people were taken to hospital suffering from light injuries caused by falling debris.

Some buildings were damaged in what was the strongest in dozens of tremors since Etna erupted on Monday.

Volcanic ash had earlier covered nearby villages and Catania airport had to temporarily suspend operations.

The earthquake struck at 03:19 local time (02:19 GMT) on Wednesday near the municipality of Viagrande.

In the village of Fleri, an 80-year-old man had to be rescued from his home. A local church was also damaged.

Image source, Reuters
Image source, EPA
Image source, Reuters
Image source, Reuters

Italian media reported panic among residents, many of whom ran out into the streets. People on the mountainside were told to escape quickly.

There were also reports of buildings shaking in Catania, a city of more than 300,000 people.