People injured as quake strikes Sicily day after Mount Etna eruption

People injured as quake strikes Sicily day after Mount Etna eruption

The eruption of the Mount Etna volcano in Sicily this week triggered a series of earthquakes on the island nation, the largest being a 4.8 magnitude tremor that hit early Wednesday.

The destroyed statue of Saint Emidio, known as the protector against earthquakes, is pictured in Pennisi on 26 December 2018 after a 4.8-magnitude natural disaster hit the area around Europe's most active volcano Mount Etna.

Ashes coated streets and sidewalks in the mountain towns of Zafferana Etnea and Santa Venerina.

According to media, the natural disaster jolted the island at 3:19 am, injuring at least 10 people and prompting villagers to flee their homes.

A smoke column comes out of the Etna volcano in Catania, Italy, Monday, Dec. 24, 2018.

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Government undersecretary Vito Crimi said there were no fatalities and 10 slight injuries. Authorities are also anxious about the possible damage volcanic ash could have on agricultural crops growing on the island.

The most seriously injured was a 70-year-old man who fractured ribs and was undergoing surgery for chest injuries.

An airport at the city of Catania continued to operate and a coastal highway nearby was reopened late in the day after being partially shut down.

The civil protection agency said temporary shelters were being set up for people whose houses were damaged or who were too anxious to return to their homes.

Lava was also observed emerging from a fissure in the side of Mount Etna, which is also known as a "flank" or lateral eruption.

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