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Smoke rises from Mount Etna, church and buildings damaged from 4.8 quake
A huge plume of smoke continued to rise from Mount Etna on Wednesday (December 26) after an earthquake with a magnitude of 4.8 hit an area north of Catania, damaging buildings and injuring about 30 people. The earthquake occurred two days after Europe's highest and most active volcano erupted, sending a huge column of ash into the sky and causing the temporary closure of Catania airport on Sicily's eastern coast. Footage released by the Italian Police showed aerials videos of the smoke rising from the 3,330 metre high volcano and the effects of the earthquake. The earthquake hit at 3:19 a.m. (0219 GMT), prompting many people to run out of their homes and sleep in cars. It was felt strongly because its epicentre was a relatively shallow one kilometre deep, officials said. Older buildings in the town of Zafferana Etnea have been damaged and several of the area's centuries-old churches appeared to suffer the most damage. About 30 people suffered injuries, mostly from falling masonry as they fled from their homes, officials said. About 10 were taken to hospital by ambulances, the others were taken by friends and family members. None of the injuries were serious.