30 injured, many out on Catania streets after earthquake prompted by Etna eruption
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30 injured, many out on Catania streets after earthquake prompted by Etna eruption

Tremor felt in Malta just after 3am

  • A worker stands near a damaged building in Zafferana Etnea near Catania on December 26. Photo: AFP

    A worker stands near a damaged building in Zafferana Etnea near Catania on December 26. Photo: AFP

  • Photo: AFP

    Photo: AFP

  • Photo: AFP

    Photo: AFP

  • Photo: AFP

    Photo: AFP

  • Photo: AFP

    Photo: AFP

Updated at 12.30pm

Thirty were injured and many were left on the streets after tremors caused by Mount Etna's eruption continued to rock Catania on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Ten people were taken to hospital by ambulance and another 20 were taken there by friends and family after being hurt by falling masonry as they fled from their homes. 

An additional 11 tremors were registered in towns close to Mount Etna since the eruption on Monday, which had caused a chain of around 130 tremors around the volcano. The tremors were registered in areas like Sammartino and Fleri.

An earthquake measuring 4.9 on the Richter scale was also felt in Malta just after 3am.

The quake was also registered in Malta.The quake was also registered in Malta.

Speaking during a press conference, Coordination Assistance Centre official Claudio Sammartino said the injuries were not serious.

Schools and municipal gyms were opened for those that preferred not to return to their homes, fearing more tremors.

Some families left their homes and spent the night in their cars, Italian news portal La Repubblica reported.

Malta's ambassador to Italy, Vanessa Frazier, urged any Maltese in affected areas who needed help to contact the Maltese embassy. 

 

Mount Etna’s eruption caused chaos in Catania, closing its airport and leaving many who hoped to celebrate Christmas on Sicily’s eastern coast stranded.

"Etna is still a dangerous volcano and our country is unfortunately very fragile, but the maximum assistance and immediate accommodation will be guaranteed to those who have seen their house collapse," Undersecretary to the Prime Minister, Vito Crimi, said.

The 3,330 metre high volcano can burst into spectacular action several times a year, spewing lava and ash high over the Mediterranean island. The last major eruption was in 1992.

The seismic activity lit up the monitoring website.The seismic activity lit up the monitoring website.

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