Costa Rica’s most famous and visited volcano, the Arenal, put on show for the thousands of visitors to the arrea and locals, as it erupted, spewing geysers of lava, ash and toxic gases from its crater and forcing the evacuation of the national park where it is located.
One visitor told the television news cameras, “it was spectacular at first, but then become concerning”.
The 1633-metre-tall cone-shaped mountain in northern Costa Rica shuddered into activity at shortly after noon on Monday issuing eight successive rivers of lava that flowed down its steep slopes, the Observatorio Vulcanológico y Sismológico de Costa Rica (OVISCORI) reported.
Nobody was at risk from the eruptions but authorities as a precaution evacuated the national park that surrounds the colossus, located, two hours north-east of San José.
The Arenal is one of Costa Rica’s major tourist attractions and the park has scores of hotels, restaurants, nightclubs and shopping centres.
No estimates were given of how many people were inside the park when the eruption began.
Arenal’s last major eruption in July 1968 killed 89 people. Smaller eruptions have occurred at least six times over the past 35 years.