(QCOSTARICA) Since the early hours of Monday morning the Turrialba volcano has been continually expelling gas and ash and a rocks, varying its intensity.
The volcano is entering its fifth day of constant eruptions, with columns of gas and ash reaching altitudes from 500 to 3,000 metres above the crater, depending on the energy of the eruptive pulses and wind speed.
Dr. Mauricio Mora Fernández, volcanologist of the National Seismological Network of the University of Costa Rica (RSN – UCR) said that the amount of expelled material is due to the internal characteristics of the volcano as the conduit has deepened and widened as part of the normal evolution from one eruption to another, causing more material to be projected into the atmosphere. He also added that the sustained activity is due to processes of fragmentation and gas flow in the inner of the volcano.
This situation has generated persistant and great accumulations of ashfall in areas such as Silvia, La Picada and San Gerardo de Irazu nearest the colossus.
Ashfall and the smell of sulfur has also been reported in areas north of the Central Valley, such as Moravia, Coronado, Goicoechea and the province of Heredia, in particular the cantons of San Isidro, San Rafael and Barva. There are also reports of ashfall in Escazu and Guapiles.
This week, unlike the previous week, airport operations at the Juan Santamaria International (San Jose airport) were not affected. The winds did not blow any ash far enough west in the area of the airport to cancel or delay fligths. On Thursday some social media reports a number of flights cancelled by an airline, reports coming in from passengers in Panama delayed on their flight to Costa Rica.
Important during this activity is stay informed from official sources.
Volcanologist Dr. Guillermo Alvarado Induni historical memories and studies of prehistoric eruptions permit the capacity of authorities and the population for proper risk management. The expert clarified that it is not possible incandescent rocks or lava flows can reach the Central Valley.
Dr. Alvarado added that, like the Irazu volcano eruptions between 1963 and 1965, we can expect constant ashfall for a long time.
specialists at the RSN and the OSVICORI, as well as other expert agencies, are remaining vigilant, analyzing step by step the evolution of the volcano.