Aside from the devastatingly explosive capacity of a volcano, there are other dangers that can unfold:
Irazu Irruption, 1960
Fire and brimstone are not the volcanoes only weapons, others include hazards from the volcanic ash is a real danger.
Not to be confused with its counterpart, ash formed when wood burns, volcanic ash is a fine mixture of rock and sharp, tiny broken shards of volcanic glass; created when gasses in the Magma expand and explode above the crater.
- Volcanic ash is heavy, toxic and accumulates quickly; because of its weight it collapses structures and even power lines.
- It also contaminates water supplies and crushes farm produce; stifling animals by clogging breathing passages and lungs.
- Plumes of volcanic ash in the higher atmosphere can clog jet engines; winds will carry the ash for thousands of miles, blocking the sun and turning day to night.
- In the stratosphere volcanic ash reflects solar radiation coming to Earth and blocks outgoing radiation from the Earth’s surface –effectively reducing our temperature.
Volcano Phreatic Eruption
Mud on road following phreatic eruption
With little warning, a volcano will deliver a thunderous ‘boom’; a minor explosion from its vent or a fumarole; This catapults a shower of small stones, sand, and the pungent smell of sulphur into the air.
Don’t worry; this is just a phreatic eruption. They occurs when a volcano blows-off-a-little-steam. In Costa Rica this will not be accompanied by fiery lava.
The dangers of a volcano in Costa Rica and anywhere can, none-the-less be catastrophic. Eruptions with molten lava, airborne boulders, ash, poisonous gases, can cause water contamination killing of people and animals up to thousands of miles away.