San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Arenal Volcano Rumbles, Fumes, Spits and Burns

An eruption at Arenal Volcano, in north-central Costa Rica, caused small fires and avalanches on Tuesday and Wednesday this week.

According to the Volcanological and Seismological Observatory of Costa Rica (OVSICORI) the volcano emitted a stream of lava on its southern flank, causing small avalanches on the south slope of the mountain. The lava also ignited some trees and plants as it reached the fauna line on the mountain’s side.

On Tuesday morning, between 2 a.m. and 3 a.m., the volcano emitted hot gas and rock in what is known as a pyroclastic eruption, registering small tremors at the OVSICORI offices.

None of the activity has threatened La Fortuna, the town at the base of the volcano, and ArenalNational Park remains open. Park guards said that the recent rumblings had not affected their watch stations.

OVSICORI scientists said the activity is normal and the accumulation of the material around the crater will increase the height of the mountain, which has been growing in recent years due to similar eruptions.

–Mike McDonald

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