- Photo via Turrialba Volcano National Park -

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Published on Wednesday, November 24, 2021
By the A.M. Costa  Rica staff

Since a strong eruption of the Turrialba Volcano in Cartago Province, registered on Nov. 3, access to the park was closed for security reasons and scheduled to reopen on Friday, but authorities announced an extended closure.

The most recent eruption was reported yesterday at 6:24 a.m. The ash and gas column reached about 500 meters above the crater level and lasted 1 minute. Experts consider the frequent eruptions a natural sign of increased activity in the volcano and possibly a precursor to another eruption.

Also, the ash analysis of the first big eruption of the month was mainly phreatic similar to the other eruptions observed this year, due to the warming of the water in the crater. This process involves interaction with magmatic gases and an increase in vapor flow which can induce an explosion. It appears that the likelihood of eruptions of this type increases during and after rain.

Experts continue warning the public about the danger of an unexpected eruption in the Turrialba volcano. "An active volcano can erupt in unpredictable ways," experts said.

Taking into account the recent eruptions, the Volcanological Observatory experts raised the activity of the volcano to level 3, which means erupting activity.

The volcano park will continue to be closed until further notice as a measure for safeguarding the lives of park rangers, tourist guides and visitors, the authorities said. Once they have the data obtained from the volcanic study with better results, they will reevaluate a reopening.
Authorities ask the public not to enter the protected area through unauthorized areas with high volcanic risk.

The Nov. 3 eruption was recorded at 6:46 a.m. and lasted approximately one minute. The ash and gas column rose about 200 meters above the crater and was dispersed by winds to the west-northwest in the direction of the Central Valley.

That eruption was seen from the provinces of Cartago, Limón, Alajuela and Heredia. Ashfall was also reported in Coronado Canton, San José Province. A strong sulfur odor was perceived in San Isidro Canton, Heredia Province.

After eight years of being closed to the public due to the risks of eruptions, the Turrialba Volcano reopened to visitors in December 2020.

A study shows that Turrialba and Irazu volcanoes, both located in Cartago Province, are interconnected below the ground.

How should authorities handle tourism at the Irazu Volcano?
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