Tuesday 21 September 2021

Tourist Caution Advised When Visiting Costa Rica’s Volcanos

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The Poás voclanos combustion of sulfur observed after a Phreatic eruption in May of this year. Photo: Red Sismológica Nacional - Universidad de Costa Rica
The Poás voclanos combustion of sulfur observed after a Phreatic eruption in May of this year. Photo: Red Sismológica Nacional – Universidad de Costa Rica

Authorities in Costa Rica have expressed concern over the Poás Volcano and the tourism to the colossus, given the increased amount of emanating gases over the past few weeks.

Experts at the Red Sismológica Nacional – Universidad de Costa Rica (National Seismic Network at the University of Costa Rica) say that sulphuric emissions and the presence of harmful gases are prompting national park officials to take precautions during the high tourism season in Costa Rica.

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Volcano tourism in Costa Rica is very popular. Thousands of visitors each year visit active volcanos like the Poás (the nearest volcano to major hotels where visitors stay and the international airport) the Irazú, Turrialba, Arenal and Rincon de la Vieja.

The Poás, Turrialba and Rincón de la Vieja are most active of the volcanos in Costa Rica.

Wind direction is a major concern.

With respect to the Poás, the Red Sismológica Nacional reports the conditions in general have been variable in both the colour of the crater’s lagoon, the amount of sulphur, as well as the degassing and evaporation.

Earlier this year a Phreatic eruption at the Poás limited tourist access to the national park. In the May eruption, gas temperatures reached 655 Degrees Celsius. RSN experts also noted an increased drop in the lagoon water levels, drops that have been occurring since 2005.

Phreatic eruptions can be a wonderful sight for tourists, however prolonged exposure to the gases can be harmful.

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