QCOSTARICA – The eruptions of the Rincón de la Vieja volcano, Liberia, in the northern part of the country poses no danger, says Javier Pacheco, scientist at the Volcanological and Seismological Observatory of Costa Rica (Observatorio Vulcanológico y Sismológico de Costa Rica – OVSICORI).
The scientist says the eruptions are “normal”, are part of the ‘eruptive process’ since last year.
Pacheco said the national park remains open to the public, though access to the crater has been closed.
The volcano recorded two eruptions in the last two days, the first on Wednesday shortly before 2:00pm and Thursday at 11:40am. They are phreatic eruptions, in which gas and vapor rise above 500 metres (1.600 feet) from the crater, spewing mud and sediment.
Pacheco added that since last year phreatic eruptions have been frequent. “What happens is that due to summer time, we can see the top of the volcano and people have reported outgassing”.
For now, the OVSICORI is keeping a watch on the volcano and there is no cause for alert. Yes, Pacheco insisted that tourists should respect the colossus and not climb to the crater because, in case of a surprise eruption they could suffer serious injury or death.
“Up there the gases cause damage. If someone reaches the crater they may even die, because the steam and gases are at temperatures above 300 degrees Celsius and the cloud could suffocate anyone who is there,” he said.
On Tuesday, OVSICORI volcanologists were in the volcano gases making measurements and taking samples of the lake.