The Galapagos Park prohibited the arrival to the island, where the volcano La Cumbre is in eruption. Only the boats that already had their itinerary with visits to it are authorized.
The eruptive process of La Cumbre volcano on Fernandina Island continues; but the outlet of the lava flow from the crater decreases as the days pass. According to Danny Rueda, director of ecosystems of the Galapagos National Park, the process of volcanic activity can last up to three weeks, and only the outflow of lava from the crack would take five days.
The park rangers reported yesterday a decrease in the magnitude of the lava that reaches the shore. Rueda acknowledged that the natural process generates affectation to the ecosystem, but the most detailed evaluation will be carried out when the eruptive process ends and there is no longer the escape of water vapor or ash.
“There we will enter by land to appreciate the degree of damage occurred in the ecosystem; however, being a natural process we have parameters to perform the evaluation “. Fernandina is an island in formation, whose main species are the populations of penguins, marine iguanas and especially two varieties of endemic snakes.
Because of the warming of the water, vertebrate and invertebrate individuals near the coast are also lost. “Many of the species that live in Fernandina are also in other islands, so the loss of some individuals does not mean that this family will be in danger of extinction.”
The lava flow, which still emits the Fernandina volcano, is registered in the northeast sector, contrary to the one occurred in September 2017 when the eruption was on the southwest side of the island, which generated an effect on the seasonal vegetation.
For the moment and for safety, land entry to Fernandina Island is prohibited, as well as the change of itinerary of the tourist boats -which are found in the archipelago- to observe the eruption process.
“The boats that are at the moment on the site are those that already had an itinerary programmed annually to this sector; but new authorizations are not being granted for admission because of a preventive and security issue to avoid agglomerations in those places. ”
According to the report issued by the Geophysical Institute of the National Polytechnic School (IGEPN), all water vapor and ashes are directed to the west side, that is, outside the archipelago and without affecting any populated center of the islands.
This report recommends that all people stay away from the eruption and in particular the entry of lava into the sea since explosions can occur when it comes into contact with water. “This phenomenon produces a large amount of toxic gas. Lava flows can also cause fires, so volcanic monitoring will be maintained and any changes will be reported, “the IGEPN report reiterates.
The Geophysical Institute also indicates that based on past eruptions, the eruptive process would take at least a couple of weeks.
Overflight with drone
Yesterday it was necessary to carry out an overflight of the eruption sector by means of a drone that allows to know the dynamics of the fissure and to have clearer information of the lava flows that occur at the moment, and that have been constant on the island. (I)