San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Experts detect increased activity at Turrialba Volcano

Experts from the National Seismological Network (RSN) at the University of Costa Rica reported an increase in seismic activity at the Turrialba Volcano, located east of the province of Cartago.

The report indicates that increased volcanic activity was recorded starting on July 13.

“Before that date there was an average of 20 volcanic temblors per day, but now we are registering some 30 per hour. That average has remained constant until this day [July 18]. These earthquakes last 10-15 seconds on average and therefore are mostly of low energy,” the report stated.

Turrialba Volcano National Park is maintaining a green (preventive) alert and is closed to the public, “but the information gathered is intended to alert the population and not to alarm them,” the report added.

RSN volcanologist Gino González said current volcano behavior is the same that preceded the last major Turrialba eruptions in 2010 and 2012.

“It is not possible to predict an eruption, however, studies to date indicate that the volcano is in an imbalance that could culminate in an eruption,” read one of the conclusions of the report.

The main events recorded are called “hybrid earthquakes,” which produce small rock fracturing and fluid circulation.

The last increase in seismicity at Turrialba Volcano took place between April 21 and June 10. During that period there were at least two phreatic eruptions and ash spewing from the gaps formed in 2010 and 2012.

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