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Thursday, June 1, 2023

Rincón de la Vieja Volcano increasing in activity, authorities say

The Volcanological and Seismological Observatory of Costa Rica (OVSICORI) says Rincón de la Vieja Volcano in Guanacaste is increasing in activity, though the organization has not observed magma movement that could portend an eruption.

Still, Costa Rica’s National Emergency Commission (CNE) is warning that “a change in its condition could occur at any time.”

“Since Monday, the Rincón de la Vieja Volcano has an increase in seismic activity, associated with the movement of hydrothermal fluids inside,” Costa Rica’s National System of Conservation Areas (SINAC) wrote in a Facebook post.

“So far, there is no presence of magma movements within the massif that could generate an eruption.”

The volcano last erupted in January 2019, sending volcanic rock into nearby rivers.

SINAC advised communities near the volcano to “be cautious for mud and currents associated with hydrothermal eruptions that expel water from the lake.”

Rincón de la Vieja Volcano is located in the eponymous national park in the Guanacaste province. The National Park attracts visitors due to its unique flora and fauna, waterfalls and geothermal activity.

A trail to the crater summit has remained closed in recent years due to volcanic activity.

The area also houses the La Pailas power plant, which harnesses geothermal energy from the volcano.

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