Capri Blue Volcano: ‘We’re still looking’ for survivors
A group of tourists who spent a night in a volcanic island on Capri have said they are still looking for survivors after a volcano erupted early Sunday, destroying their boat and setting them ablaze.
It was the second time in less than two weeks that a volcano in the island’s eastern section erupted, but the latest happened at around 1:30 a.m. on Sunday, with several witnesses reporting hearing an explosion.
The island, known as Capri, is located about 1,200 miles south of Rome.
The Associated Press first reported that tourists were among those injured in the eruption.
“I saw people coming out of the island and some of them were crying,” said Andrea Lotti, a tourist from Italy who was in the water at the time.
“They were screaming and screaming and there was an explosion in the sky, so we thought maybe there was something in the lava, but it was just a smoke and no one knew what was happening.”
Lotti said that her boat, a motorized scooter, was engulfed in flames, but she and her husband were able to save their lives by taking shelter in a nearby cave.
“When we got out of there we were all so scared,” she said.
“We were in the cave for almost four hours, and then when we got outside, the flames started to go down.”
The tourists, who were in their early 40s and 50s, had just returned from a holiday on the Italian island of Sicily, which has a population of about 1 million.
They had arrived in the region around 4 a.min. local time.
Lotti’s husband, who had a broken arm, said he had just gotten back from a beach near the island, which is home to several volcanic rocks.
“My friend is in serious condition,” said the man, who declined to give his name.
“He had to go to the hospital.
It looks like the island is still unstable.”
Another tourist, Luigi Marotta, a resident of the area, said the explosion was the result of a power surge, and that he saw a small explosion around 5 a.am.
“There was a big explosion in my boat, so I thought it was an electrical fire, but then the whole island was burning,” Marotta told Italy’s RAI television.
“Some tourists said that there were people on the island.
It looked like they had to evacuate.”
The AP reported that the volcano has been inactive for about three weeks.
Italian authorities have not released a timeline for the eruption, but they said it occurred at a “high-risk zone” in the area.