The National Emergency Commission (CNE) of Costa Rica is still evaluating the damage caused by the eruption of the “Rincón de la Vieja Volcano”, which occurred this Monday morning. The largest number of incidents occurred on the northern slope of the colossus, specifically in the Quebrada Azul, Azul Azufrada and Pénjamo rivers.
It is not ruled out that other rivers may be affected, said Lidier Esquivel, head of the CNE’s Risk Research and Analysis Unit. “The greatest amount of damage has been concentrated in bridges, fords and even some communities that may have access problems are being evaluated,” he added. Technical teams from that institution will remain in the area in the coming days to assess the damage.
The eruption of the Rincón de la Vieja volcano was “quite energetic”, in the words of Maarten de Moor, a specialist at the Costa Rican Volcanological and Seismological Observatory (Ovsicori).
“Although these types of events are common in Rincón de la Vieja – for example, last year about 1,400 of them were registered – this was very large. It is perhaps the most important since the 1990s, ”de Moor added.
The event was registered at 5:42 a.m. Monday, and according to the most recent reports, it reached a height of about 4 kilometers and the steam column of about 8 kilometers.The eruption was seen from Ciudad Quesada and the top of the Turrialba volcano.
As a preventive measure, Esquivel was emphatic in asking the population not to approach the bridges, fords or steps to observe the event. “This can be very dangerous, especially at this time when the volcano is still very unstable and it is not ruled out that new eruptions may occur.”
Electrical grid is not affected
For its part, the Costa Rican Electricity Institute (ICE) indicated that it had no effects on its electricity distribution networks, nor on the generating units of the Las Pailas I and II geothermal projects, nor on its personnel. Neither are there any reports of affectation in the active drilling wells by Geothermal Resources, nor by its personnel.
According to the latest records, the volcano maintained constant activity from the second half of 2018. In that period, it showed at least between two and five monthly eruptions and in January 2019, the activity intensified, which activated the surveillance of the volcano.