Volcán Turrialba continues to concern emergency officials

Some 2,000 mostly dairy cows continue to chew their cud in the proximity of the Turrialba volcano.

Although most humans are prohibited from within six kilometers of the volcano crater, most of the animals have not been moved out. Farmers there have been through volcano scares in the past.

This one may be different than the others. Experts from the Observatorio de Sismológico y Vulcanología said an analysis of material being ejected from the volcano shows up to 10 percent what is being called new material. This suggests that magma is closer to the surface than it has been in the past.

Still the bulk of the emissions from the volcano have been gas and water vapor. There are an average of two eruptions a day in which material is ejected from the crater.

The gas is acidic and causing damage to the vegetables being produced near the volcano, which is east of San José.

Observatorio staffers conducted a flight over the volcano Saturday morning and documented the damage to the trees and other vegetation. Closer to the volcano vegetation is being damaged by the ash. Much of the material was deposited toward the northwest, but emergency commission officials are keeping an eye on the weather because a change in wind can change the direction of the ash dispersal.

Over the weekend the Observatorio asked residents to document the dispersal of ash by reporting via the academic organization’s Web page.

Enough residents have fled the volcano area that there are pets on the loose. Animal activists brought 60 kilos of pet food to the the area over the weekend.

Only scientists and dairy farmers are being allowed within a ring of three kilometers around the crater.

This eruption was at 5:34 a.m. Saturday.

This eruption was at 5:34 a.m. Saturday.

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