COSTA RICA NEWS — During the press conference following his tour of the area at the base of the Turrialba volcano, President Luis Guillermo Solís, ate, in front of the television cameras, a piece of locally grown broccoli to send the message that the local vegetables are safe to eat.
Meanwhile, the ministro de Agricultura (Agriculture Minister), Luis Felipe Arauz, said that crops like cauliflower, carrots, cabbage, onions and broccoli are not affected by the ash or any intoxicant (like acid rain).
[/su_pullquote]The press conference was held in a hotel located six kilometres from the entrance to the national park.
The public display by the President was in support of local growers who earlier told him that news of the volcano eruption last week and the alert had cooled buyers for their products.
Tony Lachner, owner of the Turrialba hotel, pleaded with the President to not let authorities scandalize and scare people, tourists from visiting the area.
Taking a cue from the hotel owner, Solís took the floor and called on citizens to continue visiting the area, meanwhile respecting the security limits of the volcano. The President named many other tourist attractions in the area besides the Turrialba national park, that is closed off to visitors.
Geologists and volcanologists from the University of Costa Rica (UCR) said that volcanic activity has decreased, but the spewing of stones and ash continues, and do not rule out further eruptions.
Placing his Transport minister on the spot, Solís expressed his concern on the poor state of condition of the Ruta 417, a national road to Cartago in the case of an emergency, part of the CONAVI’s (Road Council) ¢400 million colones, of which ¢290 million colones has been disbursed, for road maintenance in the area. For his part, MOPT minister, Carlos Segnini, said he wasn’t aware why the project hasn’t started.
Source: Casa Presidencial; Luis Guillermo Solís Facebook page; La Nacion