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Rincón de la Vieja Volcano registers strong eruption

January 31, 2020

Rincón de la Vieja Volcano in northern Costa Rica erupted Thursday, sending a column of gas 2 km into the skies above its crater.

According to the Volcanological and Seismological Observatory of Costa Rica (OVSICORI), the eruption began at 12:13 p.m. A video shared by the organization shows part of the event:

The National Emergency Commission (CNE) advised nearby communities to be cautious with strong river currents associated with hydrothermal eruptions, which can expel boiling water, steam and mud. Residents of the villages of Buenos Aires and Gavilán reported a sulfuric odor associated with the event, the CNE said.

While there were no reports of significant damage or bodily harm, the CNE issued a green alert for parts of Upala canton following the eruption.

Prior to Thursday, the volcano had last erupted in January 2019, sending volcanic rock into nearby rivers. In recent days, CNE had warned another event might be imminent.

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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