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Wild Costa Rica

- Photo via Poás National Park -

Alert due to Alajuela's volcano nonstop eruptions

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Published on Tuesday, April 2, 2024
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Due to the nonstop eruptions of Poás Volcano in Alajuela Province, the National Emergency Commission declared a Green Alert.

The warning covers the cantons of Alajuela CityPoásGreciaSarchíZarcero and Naranjo in that province.

The indication allows emergency commanders in nearby areas to be updated with information on the volcano's activities.

The most recent eruption was reported by the Volcanological and Seismological Observatory of Costa Rica (Ovsicori) on Monday, at 9:55 a.m. The gas and ash column continues over the crater. During the eruption, intense and sustained earthquakes with frequencies ranging from 0.6 to 4 hertz were detected.

Visitors can still reach various areas in the National Park. However, access to the crater region has been restricted to visitors as a precaution regarding another round of eruptions. 

Authorities issued a level two alert owing to the ongoing activity. The caution enables professionals to remain vigilant for potential increases in eruptions, gas emissions, temperature changes, earthquakes, ash fall, acid rain, or hazardous gas emissions.

The notification also authorizes park rangers to take steps to keep tourists from approaching the volcano's crater.

Since last week, villages to the west, south, and southwest of the volcano have reported strong sulfur odors and volcanic ash fall. 

Furthermore, local clinics have treated persons who have been exposed to ash, which causes headaches, nausea, nosebleeds, and an inflammatory rash on the skin around the mouth, eyes, and nose.

Scientists reported the nonstop eruption of gas, hot rocks, and ash. The majority of the material falls back into the crater floor, although the finer ash is carried by the wind to the west, southwest, and south of the volcano. 

These issues prompted officials to advise residents of towns and cities near the volcanic area to wear a face mask comparable to medical N95 disposable respirators.

The volcano's national park covers an area of approximately 16,000 acres. Its summit is 8,900 ft. Depending on conditions, visitors can walk to the edge of the main crater.

The main crater is 950 feet wide and highly active, with regular minor geyser and lava outbursts. There are two additional craters: Von Frantzius and Botos. The Botos Crater is a popular tourist appeal since it is a covered freezing green lake with a diameter of 1,200 feet.

The park protects a diverse range of natural plant and animal species, including various bird species such as the clay-colored robin, dazzling quetzal, hummingbirds, tanagers, flycatchers, and toucans. The park's mammals include coyotes, rabbits, and marmots among others.

How do park rangers handle tourists amid continuous volcanic eruptions?  We would like to know your thoughts on this story. Send your comments to