Turrialba volcano wakes up and spews ash after a short nap

The Turrialba volcano made very sure Wednesday that scientists would not lose interest. The volcano east of San José emitted another column of ash from a newly formed vent in the west crater about 3 p.m. There were volcano experts nearby to observe it.

The Observatorio Vulcanológico y Sismológico de Costa Rica at Universidad Nacional said that the column may have gone as high as 20,000 feet and dispersed in the direction of Ochomogo and toward the Caribbean. Much of the ash fell on the nearby communities of La Central, Calle Vargas and Virtudes, the observatory said.

This is the same kind of activity that brought scientists to the mountain last week. Thursday a similar burst of ash was followed the next day by a column of bluish gas.
The scientists have sent mixed messages as to whether they think the mountain is headed for a major eruption. The observatory put out a report Tuesday that said that imminent eruptions was unlikely. But the report also said that the creation of a new vent in the volcano’s west crater was similar to what happened in 1864 to 1968 when Turrialba last produced a major eruption. They also said that the creation of vents took place before the volcano’s sister, Irazú, exploded in 1963.

The report said that more vents are likely because they are created by the rock being eroded by heavy rains.

The observatory said that its pilot, Federico Chavarría, observed the column of ash from the sky.

Only Tuesday the Comisión Nacional de Prevención de Riesgos y Atención de Emergencias said that the volcano appeared to have returned to normality.

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