Access to Poás Volcano Restricted after Eruptions

March 31, 2006

Authorities have restricted entrance to PoásVolcanoNational Park, north of San José, after the volcano began erupting last week for the first time in 12 years.

Three eruptions occurred at Poás the night of March 24; the strongest, registered at 7:53 p.m., blew sediment and rocks 150 meters into the air, the daily La Nación reported.

Eliécer Duarte, a researcher with the Volcanological and Seismological Observatory of Costa Rica (OVSICORI), based at Universidad Nacional (UNA), told The Tico Times that investigators found rocks from the explosion 600 meters from the source.

Five more eruptions occurred Saturday between 6:50 a.m. and 1:11 p.m. According to Duarte, the eruptions are the result of an accumulation of sediments and the release of hot gases below the turquoise lake in the active volcano’s crater.

Sunday, scientists from OVSICORI and UNA visited the volcano to collect information about the recent eruptions, but they remained on the eastern part of the volcano for safety reasons. Because of poor visibility, researchers were unable to confirm whether there had been changes to the formation of the volcano’s crater, said an OVSICORI statement.

Access to the volcano will remain restricted until authorities can better determine the degree of danger the eruptions present within the national park. Surrounding communities are not expected to be affected.

Poás is a popular tourist attraction –284,000 people visited the park last year, according to La Nación.

 

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