Geophysics: The Volcano Doctor

Over the pleasant city of Cartago in Costa Rica towers 11,260-ft. Irazú, the only mountain in the world that has its own cabinet minister and a private retinue of physicians. Irazú has rated such attentions since March 13, 1963, when it started spouting enormous clouds of hot ash and became the country's top menace and tourist attraction (TIME, Jan. 17). Sightseers can park near the lip of the crater and actually stare down into the billowing pit. Usually the prevailing wind blows the ash away from the spectators, but last week Irazú...

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