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Costa Rica
Thursday, May 26, 2022

In Costa Rica, Poas Volcano registered a moderate eruption

After several months without eruptions, the Poas Volcano registered activity once again, this Wednesday. According to the Vulcanological and Seismological Observatory of Costa Rica, at 2:42 in the morning, a moderate eruption in the north vent was seen. It rose 500 meters from the base of the crater and lasted for three minutes.

The Poas Volcano, is an active 2,697-metre stratovolcano. It is located in Alajuela Province, within Poas Volcano National Park. The National Park covers an area of approximately 65 square kilometers (16,000 acres).

Specialized personnel visited the volcano, in order to analyze what happened and perform measurements and assessments in the crater.

The Vulcanological and Seismological Observatory of Costa Rica had mentioned that volcano was undergoing a phase of scarce activity. Eruptions were rather uncommon and inner earthquakes weren’t happening as frequently.

According to Javier Pacheco, this was a hydrothermal eruption; the rainwater that feeds the lagoon and also the entire upper part of the massif was reheated under the Earth’s surface and rapidly changed from its liquid phase to a vapor phase, expanding and violently breaking the rock.

“The pressure and temperature had been increasing. Today at 2:42 a.m. the cap was blown off when there was an explosion. The gas emanation continues because it is a very active fumarole,” explained volcanologist.

Volcanologist Gino González, from Volcanes sin Fronteras, said he was impressed and trying to understand what happened. He had visited the volcano in march and did not expect this event.

“In the recent visit to Poas it gave the impression that the system was calm and although that vent, known as the orange vent, was very dynamic, we are still analyzing what happened,” he said.

He also added “now we have to see how the activity continues there, because the lake level was high, which is a sign of a system in relaxation, but it could also be that the steam at the bottom is pushing and rising the water.”

The National Emergency Commission (CNE), confirmed that, for the moment, there is still access for tourists. Nevertheless, both park rangers and visitors have been warned precautions should be taken, after the volcano’s most recent activity. If there is any further movement, it is likely the park could close preventively.

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