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Poás Volcano registers 25-minute hydrothermal eruption

September 23, 2019

Poás Volcano, located 47 kilometers (29 miles) northwest of the Costa Rican capital of San José, erupted Sunday night, authorities said.

The 25-minute event began at 8:59 p.m. Sunday and was a hydrothermal eruption, according to the Volcanological and Seismological Observatory of Costa Rica (OVSICORI), based at Universidad Nacional (UNA).

The eruption generated a 2 km column of steam, which wind carried to the northeast. OVSICORI’s initial reports said they had not detected ash falls, and there were no reports of significant affectation Monday morning.

The National Seismological Network (RSN) captured the following images of the eruption with a thermal camera:

Poás Volcano National Park, among the most popular in Costa Rica, is closed Monday while authorities monitor the volcano for any additional activity.

Poás 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 National Emergency Commission’s Alexander Solis in January.

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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