Mount Etna: Earthquake hits Sicily after eruption at Europe's most active volcano

Firefighters attend a damaged building after an earthquake on Dec 26, 2018
Firefighters attend a damaged building after an earthquake on Dec 26, 2018 Copyright Vigili Del Fuoco
By Alice Tidey
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The 4.8-magnitude earthquake struck shortly after 3 am.


A 4.8-magnitude earthquake struck early on Wednesday near Italy's Mount Etna.

It comes two days after an eruption at the volcano, which sent a huge column of ash into the sky and caused the temporary closure of Catania airport on Sicily's eastern coast.

The quake hit 03.19 CET near the municipality of Viagrande, some 20 kilometres south of Europe's highest volcano, according to the National Institute of Geophysics and Volcanology (INGV).

The Corriere newspaper reported that 10 people had been slightly injured, while footage shared by Italian firefighters showed buildings and roads had sustained damage.

A section of the A18 Catania-Messina motorway has been closed to repair damage from the earthquake but Catania Airport said in a tweet that flights had not been limited.

"But there may still be delays and inconvenience," it warned.

Mount Etna eruption

Europe's most active volcano erupted on Monday spewing lava and dusting nearby villages in ash.

The volcano erupts several times a year but Monday's event was particularly noteworthy because it was accompanied by an unusually high level of seismic activity.

A chain of 130 earthquakes was recorded from 09:00 CET, with the strongest registering a magnitude of 4.0, according to the INGV.

There were no reports of injury but Catania Airport was briefly closed.

Lava and ash continued to spew on Tuesday as local residents celebrated Christmas.

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