Ash spewing eruptions from Turrialba Volcano, located some 70 Kilometers (43 miles) northeast of San José, increased this week, volcanologists from the University of Costa Rica and the National University announced. The vast majority of the country is NOT affected, although the populated San Jose is getting the winds carrying the ash.
The eruptions formed ash columns of approximately 300 meters (985 feet) above the volcano’s crater, according to reports from the National University’s Volcanological and Seismological Observatory of Costa Rica (OVSICORI).
Mauricio Mora, a volcanologist with the University of Costa Rica’s National Seismological Network (RSN), said in a public report that activity at Turrialba between Dec. 15 – 27 was mostly low with very low seismic activity and sporadic and weak ash spewings.
“Starting on December 28. However, we recorded an increase in seismic activity, with volcanic tremors lasting between 4-7 minutes,” he said. This spike in the activity resulted in a strong explosion at 23:00 hours on Thursday that hurled incandescent rocks around the crater, Mora said.
Winds are carrying ash
Mora said that ash plumes of up to 500 meters (1,640 ft) formed this week above Turrialba’s crater, located in northern Cartago province.
Strong gusts of wind took ashes to several locations across the Central Valley. People reported ashfall in Cartago and San José, and as far away as the province of Heredia close to the SJO San Jose airport.
Messages on OVSICORI and RSN’s social media profiles reported ashfall and sulfur odors in several communities in Turrialba and northern Cartago. There are also reports from San José residents in Coronado, Goicoechea, Moravia, Montes de Oca, Curridabat, Zapote, and Tibas in the Northeast side of San Jose.
Turrialba has been active since 2014. In September, it started a new eruptive cycle with periodic ash and vapor explosions up to 4,000 meters (13,100 ft) above its crater.
Emergency agencies maintain a security perimeter of two kilometers around the volcano.
Not affected regions
- The North and the South Pacific Coasts (Including the Liberia City and International Airport (LIR)
- North and South Caribbean Coasts
- Southern Area
- Northern Area
The most affected regions are the areas on the Northeast side of the Central Valley, as you can see the map below.
- The yellow triangle shows the most affected areas in the Central Valley.
- The green triangle shows the affected areas by the ashfall in the wind gusts.
- The gray area shows the regions where ashfall may arrive but in a less significant way
At Premio we will continue updating this situation. Please keep on checking our blog and social network.