Kilauea (Hawai’i): Over the past few days, there has been no advance of the lava flow front towards residences in Pahoa, though active lava continues to break out from the margins of the flow behind its farthest reach. Luckily no residences have burned so far because of this slow-down, but locals await the seemingly inevitable pressure surge which will come from somewhere on the flow in the near future.
Turrialba (Costa Rica): According to the National Seismological Network (RSN), the sudden eruption of Turrialba last Wednesday night was the volcano’s largest in 150 years. Costa Rica-based online-newspaper ‘The Tico Times’ reports that it was a massive phreatic explosion that spewed out ash, rocks and possibly magma. Experts from the University of Costa Rica (UCR) and National University (UNA) reported increased seismic activity on Wednesday afternoon, culminating in explosive activity at 11:10 p.m. with the ash cloud from the explosion reaching several hundred meters.
The eruption was followed by strong rumblings and ash covering roofs, gardens, roads and cars across different parts of central Costa Rica. The volcano is located merely 60 km northeast of the Costa Rican capital of San Jose but the area close to the volcano has been largely deserted since the renewal of volcanic activity in 2010. Upon the eruption, National Emergency Commission (CNE) officials along with UNA and UCR vulcanologists went to the area to conduct on-the-ground evaluations of the volcano’s activity. They reported that spewing of gas, vapour and ash is concentrated in two of the volcano’s craters and that activity remained constant on Thursday morning.
Thursday morning, CNE officials declared a Yellow Alert and closed the Turrialba Volcano National Park for visitors. 11 people were evacuated from surrounding areas but there are, at this time, no reports of injuries. Thursday afternoon they recommended that the Education Ministry suspend classes in five cantons in Cartago province as well as the closure of the Irazú Volcano National Park. Poás Volcano will also be closely monitored (www.ticotimes.net).