Costa Rica: Turrialba Volcano Erupts Again, Spews Ash Over 8,000 Feet Into Air

Turrialba Volcano in Costa Rica erupted on Monday afternoon, sending ash over 8,000 feet (2.5 kilometers) into the air over the capital San Jose. The main international airport closed for a short time, but otherwise the volcano did not cause much alarm. Nevertheless, the eruption was the latest seismic event to unfold in a relatively short amount of time.

Turrialba Volcano was inactive for 130 years before suddenly rumbling back to life in the 1990s according to Yahoo News. There was a large eruption in October of last year, and since then the volcano has been smoldering, while smaller blasts have become common. The last rumble hit Costa Rica on Thursday of the previous week.

As a result, Monday’s event wasn’t a shock, but residents in San Jose could smell the sulfur and ash slowly covering the streets.

It also forced officials to close Costa Rica’s Juan Santamaría International Airport as black ash covered the runway. Volcanic ash can hurt safety for planes landing or taking off, and it can also damage engines.

By Tuesday morning, the airport resumed normal operations after 13 flights were cancelled or delayed.

Gino Gonzalez, one of the most well-known volcanologists in Costa Rica, explained that Turrialba Volcano will likely stay active for the next two years. According to the Inside Costa Rica, the volcano’s eruptions closely resemble events from 150 years ago, when Turrialba spewed ash for two years. Considering the resemblance, Gonzalez believes the recent activity will be repeated, unfortunately for the residents of San Jose.

Costa Rica’s volcanic eruption is the latest in a long list of recent seismic events, most notably the 7.8 magnitude earthquake in Nepal, which killed at least 7,500 people according to the BBC. Tens of thousands of more people have been displaced and rescue workers are still struggling to find temporary housing and other necessities for those people most affected.

As previously reported by the Inquisitr, Calbuco Volcano in Chile also blew its top on April 22nd, after 54 years of slumber. Around 6,000 people had to be rushed to safety, along with farm animals and salmon, which could have suffered from contaminated water.

Even Los Angeles has seen an uptick of low-level seismic activity, prompting worries that the area is in for a “big one” soon according to the Los Angeles Times.

Compared to most of the tragedies around the world, Costa Rica’s volcano seems petty, but Turrialba Volcano will likely be a regular nuisance for some time.

[Image Credit: Bernal Saborio/Wikimedia Commons]