Fear for endangered species as volcano on tiny uninhabited island erupts

A volcano on an uninhabited island in the Galapagos has begun erupting and lighting up the night sky

Via AP news wire
Monday 04 March 2024 08:49 GMT
Ecuador Volcano Eruption
Ecuador Volcano Eruption

A volcano on an uninhabited island in the Galapagos has begun erupting, lighting up the nighttime sky as lava tumbled down its sides toward the sea.

The La Cumbre volcano on Fernandina island began erupting Saturday around midnight in what officials with Ecuador's Geophysical Institute said could be its largest eruption since 2017. The 1,476-meter (4,842-foot) volcano last erupted in 2020.

Images shared on social media taken by visitors to the Galapagos show the volcano profiled against a crimson red sky.

While the eruption posed no risk to humans, the island is home to a number of species, including iguanas, penguins and flightless cormorants. In 2019, scientists found on the island a giant tortoise not seen in more than a century and had been feared extinct.

The La Cumbre volcano is one of the most active in the Galapagos Island chain, which is famous throughout the world for helping 19th century British scientist Charles Darwin develop his theory of evolution.

In another volcano eruption over the weekend Iceland’s iconic Blue Lagoon spa was forced to evacuate as meteorologists warned of an “imminent” volcanic eruption nearby.

The spa has faced a series of closures over recent months as a wave of seismic activity continues to affect the country.

APTOPIX Iceland Volcano
APTOPIX Iceland Volcano

According to Iceland’s national broadcaster, lava has begun flowing after “intense seismic activity” in the area around the lagoon.

In a statement on its website, the spa said: “Due to increased seismic activity in a known area, a few kilometers away from Blue Lagoon, and our unwavering commitment to the safety and wellbeing of our valued guests and staff, we initiated an evacuation of our premises today.

“As a result all our operations will remain closed for the remaining of today, Saturday, March 2, and tomorrow, Sunday, March 3, at which time the situation will be reassessed.”

Iceland’s meteorological office said in their latest update that the magma intrusion appears to have stopped, after a fissure of around four kilometers opened on the Reykjanes Peninsula.

The seismicity began at the southern end of the fissure that formed on 18 December 2023. There have been ongoing disruptions in the area for months due to volcanic activity with residents of nearby town Grindavik having been evacuated.

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