Magnitude 4.8 natural disaster in Italy causes damages, injuries

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At least ten people have been reportedly injured in an quake that hit Sicily only a day after the iconic Mount Etna erupted from a new fissure, covering the Italian island with volcanic ash.

An natural disaster measuring 4.8 in magnitude hit Sicily in the early hours of this morning, injuring four people and damaging historic buildings.

It came two days after Europe's highest and most active volcano erupted, sending ash into the sky and temporarily closing Catania's airport.

The ash shrouded cars and streets in towns on the flanks of the 3,326m mountain, particularly in Zafferana Etnea and Santa Venerina.

The quake, which struck at 3.19am local time, was part of a series of some 1,000 mostly weak tremors, according to Italy's Civil Protection officials.

Earlier, the experts from the Sicilian Center of the National Institute of Geophysics and Volcanology of Italy (Ingv) recorded an increase in the activity of the volcano, which awoke on Christmas Eve.

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"Etna remains a unsafe volcano, and this country of ours is unfortunately fragile", government undersecretary Vito Crimi said as he reported 10 people injured.

Some 18 other people went to local hospitals suffering from panic attacks or shock, news reports said.

One 80-year-old man was safely extracted from the rubble of his home, the Italian news agency ANSA said.

The ash plume, which began to emerge at around noon yesterday, disrupted flights at nearby Catania airport.

Photos of the damage inflicted by the quake flooded social media.

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