Turrialba volcano surprises everyone with a dusty ash emission

The surprise volcano eruption early Thursday will be remembered mostly by the ashfall on neighborhoods in northern San José. There was no advanced warning that the Turrialba volcano was going to shoot out ash and gas for as much as 11 minutes.

In fact, the national emergency commission suggested that life around the volcano would return to normal today.  School children who attend classes near the mountain did go to school as scheduled Thursday even after the 1:18 a.m. eruption.

The ash fell in large quantities in the vicinity of the volcano and than a cloud of ash dusted places like Coronado, Ipis, San Pedro de Montes de Oca, San Isidro de Heredia, San Pablo de Heredia, Tibás, Pavas, Uruca, Sabana Norte, Santa Ana and Alajuela.

The amount was not the largest in the last 18 months. The Tobias Bolaños airport in Pavas shut down until 11 a.m., but the international airport, Juan Santamaría, continued in service.

The Ministerio de Seguridad Pública reactivated the control posts at La Pastora, Virtudes in Turrialba and Guarumos in Alvarado. Travel is restricted.

The control posts had been removed Wednesday on advice from the Comisión Nacional de Emergencias, said the ministry.

Two experts from the Red Sismológica Nacional went to the summit of the volcano Thursday to maintain the sensing equipment there.

They are Wilfredo Rojas and Luis Fernando Brenes. They said there was a vigorous plume of gases coming from the crater.

Staffers at the Parque Nacional Volcán Turrialba released a series of photos showing the ashfall close to the volcano.

The scenes appeared to resemble a light snowfall.

This cow will be immortalized as an icon of the ashfall from the volcano Thursday.

This cow will be immortalized as an icon of the ashfall from the volcano Thursday.

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