Stunning eruption of Costa Rica volcano captured with infrared camerasIBTimes UK

A volcano has erupted in Costa Rica sending a plume of smoke and ash up to 9,840ft (3,000m) into the air causing serious breathing and skin problems for nearby communities. Hundreds of people have flocked to hospitals for treatment as the thick ash engulfed the capital of San José, which is situated 19 miles (30km) from Turrialba volcano.

The National Emergencies Commission has warned people to wear masks and tight clothing to protect their lungs and skin.

"It seems to me to be the strongest (Turrialba) eruption in the past six years," said volcanologist Gino Gonzalez, according to the BBC.

Schools have been shut and flights into and out of the country have been cancelled or diverted. Locals said the air deeply smelt of sulphur. It follows a minor eruption which was captured on infrared camera by scientists earlier this month, which reached 3km above the volcano's summit.

Turrialba volcano belched a column of gas and ash more than 3,000ft into the air on 12 March in 2015, which was described at the time as its most powerful eruption in 20 years.