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12/06/2007

Costa Rican volcano begins spewing gas, vapor

Breaking Earth News
Costa Rica, C.A.
SAN JOSE -- Costa Rica's Turrialba volcano on Wednesday began spewing vapor and gas, raising alarm among experts over a potential eruption though no evacuations have yet been ordered, officials said.

"Reports from neighbors located at the foot of the volcano indicate that a thick white column of gas and vapor has begun rising from the volcano's crater," said the Costa Rican Volcanic and Seismologic Observatory.

It added that witnesses have over the past few weeks reported fields burning nearby Turrialba, which is located 40 kilometers (25 miles) from the Costa Rican capital San Jose.

Officials have been closely monitoring Turrialba since May due to a mild increase in its seismic activity.

Around 40 kilometers (25 miles) away from the volcano lies a city by the same name, most of whose 80,000 residents cultivate sugar cane or coffee or are involved in tourism, the main industry in the Central American country of 4.2 million people.

The volcano last erupted in 1866.
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