Italian news agency ANSA says eruptions from a volcano on the Sicilian island of Stromboli sent about 30 tourists jumping into the sea for safety.
Civil protection authorities said a hiker was killed during the eruptions on Wednesday. Molten material from the volcano ignited a series of fires.
Witness Gianluca Giuffre described to ANSA “a very violent explosion followed by a shower of glowing lapilli and lava material.”
He says people in the town of Ginostra barricaded themselves in houses or threw themselves into the sea.
Italy has three main active volcanoes: Etna on Sicily, Vesuvius near Naples and Stromboli, which shares the name of the small Sicilian island.