Update 21.00 pm: According to official information there was one death victim and one injured person. The tourists were climbing towards the crater and were hit by lava bombs. Glowing tephra set the vegetation near the coast on fire.
VAAC Toulouse meanwhile issued a VONA report on the height of the ash cloud: ash was detected at 9144 m altitude. Currently, strombolian eruptions and a short lava flow on the outer flank of the crater cone can be seen on the livecam. From the front of the lava flow glowing lava rocks roll over the Sciara.
The current eruption is comparable to the great eruption of 1930. At that time 6 people died and lava bombs fell in the village. It looks as if Ginostra only barely escaped a catastrophe this time. Photos show flames near buildings.
The eruption will certainly trigger new discussions about safety and volcanic tourism on Stromboli. I think for the next months it was the ascent to the crater. For the volcano guides and hoteliers it was a double catastrophe, especially so shortly before the main season. I wouldn’t be surprised if the ascent to the crater region remained permanently closed.
Update 18.00 pm: It was one of the strongest explosions on Stromboli I have been able to report in the last 20 years. From the picture above it can be deduced that an ash cloud was formed which rose at least 5 km above the crater. A pyroclastic current(?) was generated, which glided over the Sciara del Fuoco to the sea. It is also possible that part of the crater collapsed and large boulders slid over the Sciara, creating ash clouds from swirling material. The vegetation caught fire in places. If there were people on Pizzo above the crater, the chances of survival are poor. The eruption came almost without warning. However, on 26 June there was already a larger explosion than usual. In addition, the pause intervals of the normal strombolian eruptions shortened and the tremor increased slightly, as can be seen on the plot of the live data. A report from VAAC Toulouse is still pending.
Original message: At Stromboli (Italy) a larger eruption occurred this afternoon. The summit area is covered with hot tephra, which reaches far down the volcano flanks. From Sciara del Fuoco you can see ash flags rising up to the sea. Obviously, a lot of material has flowed down there. Steam also rises from the rear edge of the depression. A crevasse opening cannot be excluded. In the crater area one recognizes strong steam development. It is not yet clear whether persons were injured.