Sunday, September 02, 2007

Volcano eruption in the Galapagos Islands

A volcano has erupted on uninhabited Fernandina Island, at the far west of Ecuador's Galapagos Island chain, Ecuador's Geophysics Institute reported Wednesday.

The National Galapagos Park authorities said the eruption began at 4:50 p.m. on Tuesday following a 5.2-degree Richter Scale earthquake in the Beagle sector of Isabella island on the western flank of the volcano Darwin.

The authorities planned a flight over the island to see if the eruption is a crack or comes from the crater.

Director Hugo Yepez said the Galapagos has experienced explosive eruptions, with lava flow lasting around a week.

The Galapagos, located in the Pacific Ocean, 624 miles from the Ecuadorian coast, mainly of volcanic origin, is listed as a cultural heritage site by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization.

Fernandina is the tallest island in the archipelago with 1,494 meters above sea level. The last eruption happened in May 2005, leaving a large amount of lava down its southeastern flank.

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