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Blowout at Volcan Turrialba

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  • During the 19th century, the volcano erupted and emitted ash several times (1847, 1853, 1855, 1859, 1866), producing pyroclastic flows. The last major eruption was in 1866.[4]
  • Small signs of activity start in 1996.
  • In January 2001, the volcano reported increased activity, displaying strong fumarole activity at the central craters. The volcanic activities have increased since 2005.
  • On March 31, 2007, the volcano started to show some activity with ash eruptions.[5]
  • The National Park area opened for visitors was closed from 2009 to 2011.
Turrialba in 2005
  • On January 8, 2010, a phreatic eruption occurred, creating a new opening near the crater on the southwest, and the temperature increased from 200 to 600 °C (392 to 1,112 °F). Two villages, La Central and El Retiro, were evacuated.[6]
  • On January, 2012 a new opening on the west of the crater was created after a phreatic eruption.
  • On April 12, 2012, a small eruption occurred.[7]
  • On May 21, 2013, at 08:52, a gas explosion widened several openings near the main crater that appeared in 2010 and 2012.[8]
  • In July 2013 researchers found that tremors around the area increased from about twenty earthquakes a day, to up to thirty per hour.[9]
  • On October 17, 2014, the quantity of tremors increased from around 50-100 a day, to 200 a day.[10]
  • On October 29, 2014, at around 10:10, a tremor started and kept constant, until a phreatic eruption occurred around 23:10 at the west opening that appeared in January 2012. This eruption sent a large amount of volcanic material to areas up to 40 km (25 mi) away. Many citizens reported ash falling on their properties and a strong odor of sulphur in the cantons of Vásquez de Coronado, Goicoechea, Moravia, Desamparados, Aserrí, Escazú, Santa Ana, Montes de Oca, Tibás, Alajuelita, Puriscal, San José in the province of San José, La Union in the province of Cartago and Santo Domingo and Heredia, in the province of Heredia.[11]

March 2015

  • On March 12, 2015, eruptions at around 11:00 and 14:12 sent ashes through all the Central Valley, it is regarded as the most significant activity since 1996.[12] The Juan Suantamaría and Tobías Bolaños international airports were closed due to visibility being less than 100 meters.[13]
  • On March 13, 2015 an eruption occurred at 21:07.

May 2015

The three craters of the volcano, the oldest one is to right, the newest and most active is to the left.
Turrialba emits a translucent plume of volcanic gases in this natural-colour satellite image.

May 2016

An eruption occurred on May 21, 2016. It was characterized by one resident as the largest since 2010. Ash fell as far away as the capital, San Jose, and at least 500 people went to hospitals complaining of breathing problems. Flights into San Jose were cancelled due to concerns about ash.[14]

September 2016

On September 19, at 02:54 an eruption lasting around fifteen minutes was the first event of many through the day that eventually covered the metropolitan area with ash. There were events at 11:30, 14:40, 15:34.

The events continued through September 20 with an eruption at 06:20.

Airports in the metropolitan area were closed


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Some great photos here published today by the CBC.

Costa Rica's majestic Turrialba volcano erupted early Monday morning, lighting up the night sky and spewing smoke and ash as high 4,000 metres.

The eruption took place at 2:53 a.m. local time and peaked with incandescent rocks being thrown from the volcano's massive crater. A second blast occurred later that morning at 11:32 a.m., sending ash and smoke some 4,000 metres into the air, according to Costa Rica's volcano and seismology body OVSICORI.

The volcano had been experiencing steady tremors coupled with light gas and ash emission since Saturday with a minor eruption on Sunday, according to the Costa Rica Star News.

Early riser

Ash rises over Turrialba volcano as seen from San Gerardo de Irazu, Costa Rica early Monday morning.


(Juan Carlos/Reuters)

Blanket of ash

Two 15-minute eruptions from Turrialba, left homes, streets, cars and vegetation covered in volcanic ash.


(Juan Carlos Ulate/Reuters)

Flights cancelled

A man looks on as ash from the Turrialba volcano falls on the city of San Jose. Authorities temporarily closed Costa Rica's international airport following the explosions, affecting 120 flights and 3,000 passengers.


(Juan Carlos Ulate/Reuters)

After the storm

A dog covered in volcanic ash plays with its owner after the eruption.


(Juan Carlos Ulate/Reuters)

Dusty boots

A farmer kicks ash from the Turrialba volcano off the grass in his pasture in San Gerardo de Irazu.


(Juan Carlos Ulate/Reuters)

View from the top

A plume of steam and ash rises from the volcano. Turrialba experienced its largest eruption in 150 years nearly two years ago in October 2014. The volcano is over 3,300 metres high and located 22 kilometres northwest of the city of Turrialba.


(Juan Carlos Ulate/Reuters)


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