A volcano in central Costa Rica is spewing smoke and ash 9,840 feet (3,000 meters) into the sky, sending hundreds of people to the hospital with breathing difficulties and forcing dozens of flights to be diverted.
The volcano, called Turrialba, is about 30 miles (48 kilometers) east of the capital city of San José. According to local reports, buildings there are blanketed in ash and the air reeks of sulfur.
Costa Rica is home to dozens of dormant volcanoes, but Turrialba is known for its more regular activity. Twice last year, eruptions shut down the airport in San José because of low visibility. The latest volcanic activity began on May 16 with an explosion of gas and ash, according the Smithsonian Institution’s Global Volcanism Program, and several long-lasting and strong earthquakes have been recorded.