Costa Rican volcano erupts, alert issued

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Friday, January 8, 2010

The Turrialba volcano

Costa Rica's Turrialba volcano erupted for the first time in more than a century yesterday, spewing ash and prompting the evacuation of a small group of people living in nearby communities. The government has also issued an alert saying that such activity may recur.

Authorities monitoring Turrialba's activity increased a volcano alert level yesterday, saying "intense" but "low" seismic activity continued in the crater area.

Officials also say winds could blow some of the ash from the 3,328-meter volcano toward the Costa Rican capital, San Jose. The Costa Rican agricultural ministry cautioned that about 800 farm animals could be at risk due to ashes.

The volcano last erupted 145 years ago, in 1856. It is located around 80 kilometres east of San Jose.