Costa Rica’s Poás Volcano let loose on Wednesday, spewing gas and water more than 300 feet into the air, the Volcanological and Seismological Observatory of Costa Rica (OVSICORI) reported. Seismologists registered three consecutive phreatic eruptions starting at 2:45 p.m. They lasted 3 minutes.
According to an OVSICORI press release, phreatic eruptions, while common, cannot be predicted with precision, and they can pose a danger to volcanologists who work close to the crater lake. Debris is rarely a concern, but living things close to the crater lake can be suffocated by the gas-saturated cloud emitted from the volcano after an eruption.
Volcanologists say they have occurred sporadically since 2006 and could continue for several more years.
Poás is located a short drive from the Juan Santamaría International Airport in Alajuela.