Turrialba Volcano, in Cartago, Costa Rica. (Photo : Wikipedia)
March 21 was a scary morning for the neighbors of the rural town of Turrialba, Costa Rica. Famous for its natural attractions, Costa Rica has a number of fiery mountains. But most of them are at a dormant state, meaning that the likelihood of any type of volcanic activity is close to none. Sadly, this is not the case for the volcano on the southern side of Costa Rica. The Turrialba Volcano has been reported to have increasing activity since 2001 by the National Seismologic Network (RSN). Nevertheless, the local community of the quiet town of Turrialba did not expect the events that occurred at 8:52 AM.
The Turrialba Volcano is one of the largest volcanoes in Costa Rica. Having a height of about 10,958 feet, this volcano was never as much of a touristic attraction in comparison to other colossi such as the Arenal or the Irazu. Because of the increase in gaseous excretion from the volcano, even hikers that try to see the beauty of the area are limited to only fifteen minutes on the top.
The last time when there was unexpected activity from the Turrialba Volcano was 2012. But this was no more than some gaseous eruption. The truly frightening eruption happened in 2010. On this occasion, the ashes that were released forced two neighboring villages to evacuate the area.
This latest eruption that took place yesterday has increased the size of two gaps by about 12 to 15 feet. These gaps were made on the previously mentioned eruptions of 2010 and 2012. The eruption lasted for about three hours and the fiery mountain expelled a large amount of ash and gases that can be very toxic.
But fortunately, there is no report of any magma coming out of the volcano. Although there is no sign that neither the gases or ashes reached neighboring villages, the local population has decided to take preventive measures immediately.
Many of the businesses closer to the volcano have decided to close their doors until they feel more secure. At this time, smoke is still coming out from the fumaroles of the volcano. And the National Commission of Emergencies (NCE) has closed many of the local schools until further notice.
The RSN fears that volcanic activity might increase in the following weeks.