Spectacular volcanic eruption off the coast of Italy sends ash billowing into the sky

A huge explosion from an Italian volcano has sent plumes of ash and smoke billowing high into the sky.

Stromboli, off the coast of Sicily, erupted on Wednesday.

This is the second time the volcano has exploded this year.

Widespread fires have broken out as a result of the explosion, reports CNN.

Italy's National Institute of Geophysics and Volcanology said the plume of smoke reached almost 2km into the sky.

The spectacular explosion could be classified as a "paroxysmal event" which produced a pyroclastic flow a speeding mix of gas, rock and volcanic ash which spilled several hundred metres into the sea, the Institute says. 

No injuries have been reported as a result of the blast. 

In July, a 35-year-old hiker was killed when Stromboli erupted.