Park Rangers have been on guard at the Turrialba Volcano National Park since April when the volcano, which had been dormant since its last eruption in 1886, began to emit high levels of sulfuric gas. Due to the increase in gas emissions, rangers are limiting tourists who choose to visit the main volcano viewing point to 20 minutes of exposure to avoid negative effects from the gases.
Costa Rica News — Turrialba Volcano picture courtesy of Municipalidad de Turrialba website
Since August, staff from the Costa Rican Volcanic and Seismological Observatory (OVSICORI) noted minor landslides and sulfur flow, new gas discharge locations, and a large amount of vegetation dying in areas around the volcano’s main craters.
The National Emergency Commission (CNE) has responded to the heightened alert by training the 281 area residents that would be immediately affected by an eruption. Many of them have already reported headaches and respiratory problems as a result of the excessive gases. Some have chosen to send their children to stay with family that live further from the active volcano. According to the National University, much of the livestock in the region has gotten sick as well.
Most of the people that live around the volcano are in the town of Turrialba, and have reported seeing smoke billowing out of the volcano or the potent smell of sulfur, which comes and goes. These reminders force them to face the fact that a volcanic eruption is a true possibility.
|Written by Claire Saylor|
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Filed under: Costa Rica News on November 15th, 2007