Poás Volcano erupted early Monday morning, prompting the closure of its national park.
According to the Volcanological and Seismological Observatory of Costa Rica (OVSICORI), the eruption began at 1:50 a.m. Monday and sent a column of ash 200 meters above the crater.
OVSICORI shared a time-lapse video of the volcanic activity:
A Monday morning statement from the National System of Conservation Areas (SINAC) said Poás Volcano National Park will be closed Monday while volcanologists assess the situation.
“Due to strong activity during the last 12 hours and the presence of incandescence in the crater of the Poás Volcano National Park, it will remain closed today,” the Facebook post read.
Winds have pushed gases and ash from the eruption to the volcano’s southwest, according to OVSICORI. The observatory advised people with asthma or other respiratory issues to take precautions, including staying indoors or wearing masks if necessary.
In a January press conference, the National Emergency Committee had warned of increased volcanic activity at Poás Volcano and said it wouldn’t hesitate to close the National Park if necessary.
Poás had reopened to the public in August 2018 after implementing additional security measures, including shelters, to protect the visiting public from a potential eruption.
“Very few countries in the world take these initiatives to help ensure the public’s safety when they visit national parks with active volcanoes,” said the CNE’s Alexander Solis.
The organization said that since Poás Volcano reopened to the public, the National Park sees 300 daily visitors during weekdays and accommodates about 1,000 daily during weekends. Spots are limited and must be pre-booked via an online portal, and guests must wear hard hats when they approach the lookout.
OVSICORI transmits live feeds of the Poás crater, which you can watch here.
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