August 3, 2021

New eruption of the La Cumbre volcano in the Galapagos archipelago



The La Cumbre volcano, located on Fernandina Island, west of the Ecuadorian Galapagos archipelago, began a new eruptive activity on Sunday night, Galapagos National Park reported.

In a statement, the Park added that the activity began around 18:15 local time (23:15 GMT), according to the report submitted by park rangers who carry out control work in the area of ​​Canal Bolívar and vessel personnel of tourism that carry out activities near the place.

The first images sent record a radial fissure along the southeast edge of the volcano, with lava flows descending towards the coasts.

The Summit is a shield-type volcano, with 1,476 meters high, whose last eruption was on June 17, 2018.

On Sunday afternoon, the Geophysical Institute of the National Polytechnic School warned about the increase in the seismic activity of the volcano, something characteristic prior to an eruption, so that the environmental authority was already alert, says the Galapagos National Park in the statement .

Fernandina is one of the youngest islands in the archipelago. Its ecological value is very high because its ecosystems are home to unique species such as land and marine iguanas, snakes, endemic rats, flightless cormorants or penguins.

According to the Galapagos National Park, Fernandina Island has no human population.

The Directorate of the Galapagos National Park will monitor the eruptive process and record the changes that occur in the ecosystem after the eruption of La Cumbre.

On its Twitter profile, the Geophysical Institute of the National Polytechnic School reported at least two earthquakes this Sunday on Fernandina Island, the strongest of them, of magnitude 4.65, occurred at 16:42 local time (21.42 GMT ) and four hours later, another of magnitude 3.

The Galapagos Islands, the crown jewel of Ecuador for tourism, were declared in 1978 as a Natural World Heritage Site by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (Unesco).

The archipelago, located about a thousand kilometers from the Ecuadorian continental coasts, is considered a natural laboratory that allowed the English scientist Charles Darwin to develop his theory on evolution.

Ecuador is located in the Pacific Belt or Ring of Fire, which concentrates some of the most important subduction zones (sinking of tectonic plates) in the world and is the scene of strong seismic activity.

In addition to Ecuador, the Belt, which is shaped like a horseshoe, comprises a large number of countries such as Chile, Argentina, Bolivia, Peru, Colombia, Panama, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, El Salvador, Honduras, Guatemala, Mexico, the United States and Canada.

The 7.8-degree earthquake on the Richter open scale recorded on April 16, 2016 has been the strongest in recent years in Ecuador.

That natural phenomenon, which shook mainly the coastal provinces of Manabí and Esmeraldas, left more than 670 dead, thousands of people affected and millions of material losses.

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