An erupting volcano in the Galapagos Islands could threaten unique wildlife, say officials with the Galapagos National Park.
Television images show lava flowing into the sea and clouds of gas and smoke pouring from La Cumbre volcano on Fernandina Island, which has no human inhabitants and no Giant tortoises present.
The volcano had been inactive for about four years but it began to erupt Saturday. Scientists say Fernandina is the island with the most volcanic activity in the archipelago. La Cumbre last erupted in 1988, 1991, 1995 and May 2005. Neighboring volcanoes on Isabela island last erupted 1978 & 1998 (Cerro Azul) and 1978, 2005 & 2007 (Sierra Negra).
Park officials said in a release the eruption is not a threat to people living on nearby Isabela Island but they say lava flowing to the sea will likely affect marine and terrestrial iguanas and other fauna.
Contrary to popular opinion, volcanic activity in Galapagos is commonplace, being one of the most active volcanic regions (much like Hawaii) on the planet. This volcanic activity (La Cumbre) is not effecting tourism in any way. In fact, it offers a unique opportunity to safely witness Mother Nature at work from a safe distance (from Galapagos cruises that visit the western islands of Isabela & Fernandina).