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Turrialba volcano not harming anyone

January 8, 2010

Several Costa Rican government agencies reported Thursday there have not been serious health or natural resource concerns due to falling ash that began with Turrialba volcano´s eruption Tuesday.

The Costa Rican Water and Sewer Institute (AyA) announced that the most recent samples from the National Water Laboratory are clean and indicated that the “population adjacent to the Turrialba Volcano can consume the water from their aqueducts.”

The institution said it has been in contact with the 24 rural aqueduct operators in the zone, known as ASADAS, all of whom reported “normality in their potable water systems.”

Officials from the Agriculture and Livestock Ministry (MAG) have also visited the zone throughout the past two days. On Thursday afternoon, press officials said that the “few millimeters of ash” that have fallen have not significantly affected crops and have not endangered livestock.

There are 143 registered farms in the zone that are home to 4,415 animals. MAG believes that 800 animals could be at risk if conditions worsen. Thus far, no mandatory animal evacuations have been ordered.

Both institutes have said they are on “high alert” and the heads of both government agencies will visit the affected areas near the volcano Friday.

The National Emergency Commission (CNE) inspected three additional communities on Thursday with a team of experts from the Health Ministry. The groups visited Las Abras, Los Bajos and El Tapojo, near the three communities that were evacuated on Wednesday, to examine respiratory conditions, test resident breathing abilities and check water sources.

On Thursday afternoon, the teams did not report any major concerns.

See this week´s Tico Times Top Story for more.

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