Volcano forces Costa Rica's main airport to close

San Jose international airport was temporarily closed for security reasons as the Turrialba volcano spewed ash thousands of metres into the sky.

Photo by: OVSICORI
Photo by: OVSICORI

Turrialba volcano in Costa Rica erupted on Monday, sending a thick ash cloud into the sky, Sept. 19, 2016.

Costa Rican authorities suspended operations at the country's main airport Monday after the nearby Turrialba volcano erupted, sending a thick ash cloud into the sky.

The San Jose International Airport was temporarily closed for as ash fell on the runway and could cause problems for planes, the civil aviation authority said.

Airport sources said eight approaching flights were diverted, some to the north of the country and others to El Salvador.

It is unclear when the airport will reopen.

Tobías Bolaños Airport, west of San José has also temporary been closed, Silvia Chaves, a spokeswoman for Aeris, the company that operates the airport later confirmed.

Turrialba erupted twice Monday, first at dawn and again just before noon. The second eruption sent an ash cloud 4,000 meters into the air.

The volcano stands 35 kilometers from the capital.

TRTWorld and agencies