Resting Since 1866, Turrialba Volcano Acts Up

December 7, 2007

Turrialba Volcano, 40 kilometers east of San José, spewed gas and vapor two kilometers into the sky Wednesday morning, the first eruption since 1866.

“People living near the foot of the volcano described a thick white column wafting up from the crater,” reported the Volcanological and Seismological Observatory of Costa Rica, based at NationalUniversity in Heredia, north of San José.

In the summer, park rangers and volcano experts started noticing minor landslides, sulfur flow and vegetation dying in the area around Turrialba, putting Costa Rican authorities on guard.

About 45 minutes from the volcano, the more than 80,000 people living in the village of Turrialba – most of whom work cultivating sugarcane or coffee, or in the tourism sector – awaited their fate. But according to the National Emergency Commission (CNE), no crops, animals or humans were harmed by Turrialba’s recent activity.

By Wednesday afternoon, the region’s inhabitants had reported a significant drop in the pungent odors emitted from the volcano, a statement from CNE said, concluding the eruption show was “normal” for an active volcano such as Turrialba.

 

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