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Active volcanoes Telica and Concepción are opened to visitors

Andrea Pilarte | Jun 23, 2015

Telica volcano crater | Photographer: Paul Hoekman

Visits to Telica volcano crater are now allowed, meanwhile visits to Concepcion crater remain restricted.

Telica volcano, located in León, and Concepción volcano, in Ometepe Island, have several weeks of staying in an unusual activity that has drawn the attention of local authorities, which have issued restrictions for tourism activity. Both are popular tourism attractions in their region and are frequently visited by foreign and domestic travelers. Here we describe the current situation in both volcanoes.

Telica volcano increased its regular activity on May 7th of this year, through earthquakes and explosions of ash and gas, according to a statement from Ineter (Nicaraguan Institute of Territorial Studies), released on May 8th. Same institute said on June 19th that this volcano is in a "state of relative calm."

This unusual behavior had occasioned the restriction of visitors to Telica volcano's crater for a period of three weeks, according to Gerald Pavon, touristic guide from Eco Camp Expeditions. Pavon said the number of visits to this volcano that his agency receives has collapsed due to impossibility to see lava, which is one of the characteristics that attracts many visitors.

According to Carlos Salinas, director of the Cooperative of Tour Guides from Leon, last week local authorities finally enabled visits to the crater. Antonio Martinez, who lives near the volcano, told that the situation has been normal on the last days.

Concepción volcano, from Ometepe Island

On the other hand, Concepcion volcano has experimented two thousand explosions of gases on the last eight weeks and imperceptible earthquakes, according to the National System for Prevention, Mitigation and Attention to Disasters (Sinapred). However, none of these events have been a threat to the population, although authorities remain alert.

Currently, its activity remains high, experiencing microseisms and volcanic tremor (caused by the movement of magma) with durations of up to an hour, according to Ineter. These events can only be perceived by seismographs, which means that people do not sense them.

The Municipal Commission for Disaster Prevention (COMUPRED), oriented approximately six weeks ago that touristic guides not to climb to the crater of the volcano during tours. Horario Galan, director of the Union of Ometepe Guide said that it is only possible to make tours in the wooded area of Concepcion. Galan also said that local people stays calm, despite the volcanic activity that authorities have kept under observation.

Translated by Andrea Pilarte