SAN JOSE, Costa Rica, May 21 (UPI) -- A volcanic eruption in central Costa Rica spewed ash nearly 10,000 feet in the air, covering parts of the country's capital city.
The volcano continued to release ash about 9,840 feet into the air after erupting on Thursday afternoon, as wind began to carry the ashes to the west.
The capital city of San Jose, located about 30 miles west of the Turrialba volcano, reported strong smells of sulfur as the National Emergencies Commission advised people to protect themselves from the ash by wearing masks and tight clothing.
The BBC reports that some schools were closed and some flights into the country were canceled or diverted as hundreds of residents were sent to hospitals with breathing difficulties and skin problems.
"It seems to me to be the strongest [Turrialba] eruption in the past six years," volcanologist Gino Gonzalez said.