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Turrialba: increased activity reported, some homes abandoned 2 September 2009

Posted by admin in activity reports, Costa Rica, natural hazards, Turrialba.
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The Costa Rican volcano Turrialba is showing an increase in activity, reports Univisión today (quoting an Associated Press report). The report quotes Observatorio Vulcanológico y Sismológico de Costa Rica (Ovsicori) volcanologist Eliécer Duarte as saying that the volcano is in a ‘gaseous phase’ which precedes the ‘presence of solids’, with the latter represening ‘much more dramatic activity’. An Ovsicori field trip to Turrialba last week confirmed that new cracks and fumaroles had appeared on the volcano’s flanks.

Some villagers and farmers around the volcano, alarmed at its increased activity, have decided to leave their homes, reports Costa Rica’s La Nación. Many local inhabitants are particularly concerned at the damage being done to vegetation by Turrialba’s SO2-laden, acidic and very nasty emissions, which burn trees, shrubs and grasslands around the volcano and are seriously damaging local agriculture:

Some people even evacuated their dairy cattle, because of the loss of grassland, the toxicity of the gases emanating from the volcano and the fear that more animals will die because of the new vents that have appeared low down [on the volcano].

There was increased activity at Turrialba earlier this summer, and roads through the surrounding National Park were closed to visitors as a precaution.

News
Costa Rica: alertan incremento de actividad en volcán – Univisión, 2 September 2009
Vecinos dejan casas por volcán TurrialbaLa Nación, 2 September 2009

Information
Global Volcanism Program: Turrialba – summary information for Turrialba (1405-07=)
Observatorio Vulcanológico y Sismológico de Costa Rica – Ovsicori website
Volcán Turrialba – information from Ovsicori

The Volcanism Blog