Costa Rica News – Arenal erupted, reactivated, on July 29, 1968. It had been sleeping for some time before that. Kids learned in school that it was a volcano but saw it as just another hill. One man, a 9-year-old child at the time, recounted his experience recently.
He was grocery shopping in his small peasant town 12 kilometers from the volcano. It was a day like any other until it wasn’t. His mother pointed out that the day was becoming like night. Could it be that Arenal is active? Others laughed at her idea.
What happened next he will never forget. The gates and wood started to tremble and rattle. It got darker than dark and they heard a hoarse, prolonged noise, one like a jet turbine that was stuck. The volcano threw material devastating 15 square kilometers, taking entire towns off the map. It took the lives of 90 people.
Horses were the cars of the world at the time and the only quick way out of a town was by plane. The boy’s town was not among the destroyed. Still, his teachers had trouble making any sense of the devastation happening nearby. To this day, he has never seen a demonstration of so much force of nature.