Galapagos Islands Volcano Erupts After 30 Years, Threatens Marine Life

Galapagos Islands Volcano Erupts After 30 Years, Threatens Marine Life
Galapagos Islands Michael R Perry / Flickr CC BY 2.0
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For the first time in more than 30 years, a volcano in the Ecuador’s Galapagos Islands erupted before dawn on Monday, spitting fire, lava and smoke and threatening an ecosystem that inspired Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution.


The Wolf Volcano recorded a lava spill of 1.7 kilometers in height, Ecuador’s Galapagos National Park administration said. Pictures of the natural phenomenon were posted by park authorities showing lava flowing over the edges of the volcano and a plume about 10 km high inflating overhead.

According to Yahoo News, the lava is spilling down the southern side of the volcano. The Environment Ministry said that the iguanas, which inhabit the north west face of the volcano, are out of harm’s way.

The Geophysics Institute said that the lava is expected to reach the sea and thereby affect marine life. Although the populated areas of the island will not be harmed by the volcanic eruption, some of the ash may fall upon them.

According to, Sandro Vaca of Ecuador’s Geophysics Institute said that, with the volcanic activity lasting several days, more eruptions may occur as well.

The tourism sector functioned normal in the area as there was no foreseeable danger to the tourists.

The cluster of 13 islands and 17 islets is prone to some of the most dangerous volcanic activity in the world. The islands are located almost 1,000 kilometers off the coast of Ecuador.

Isabela Island, the largest island of the Galapagos, is home to four other volcanoes – Darwin, Alcedo, Cerro Azul and Sierra Negra. Seismic activity was reported in the Sierra Negra volcano, the second largest volcanic caldera in the world, in April.

According to ABC News, the eastern Pacific cluster of islands served as inspiration for Darwin’s book, “The Origin of Species.”

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