Scientist confirms part of Turrialba’s crater wall collapsed

A volcano expert finally reached the top of the Volcán Turrialba and confirmed what researchers thought.

A piece of the inside wall of the volcano’s new crater collapsed, and that is why there was ash in the air Jan. 14. Neighbors of the mountain reported a deposit of fine material.

The report came from vulcanologist Eliecer Durate González, who reached the peak Friday. Scientists had been hampered by bad weather earlier. He said that there appeared to be unstable parts of the interior wall that could cause collapses and result in the emission of ash some time in the future. Scientists speculated that the most recent collapses were caused by heavy rains falling on the interior crater wall.

He said that gas continues to escape from the crater and with such force that it sounds like a turbine. He said that the mountain was not in a critical state and said that tourists probably could visit under normal precautions provided by the park rangers and others.

Duarte is with the Observatorio Vulcanológico y Sismológico de Costa Rica at Universidad Nacional in Heredia. Volcan Turrialba is east of San José and north of the town of the same name.

The acidic gas from the volcano is damaging vegetation in the area.

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