Sunday, May 24, 2009

Ecuador: Volcano becomes active after 4 years!

After four years of inactivity, Galapagos Islands' La Cumbre Volcano spewed lava, gas and smoke on Saturday on Fernandina Island. La Cumbre has an elevation of 4,842 feet.

According to the Geophysical Institute of the National Polytechnic School it has recorded 43 thermal alerts. The institute's satellite images showed a column of gas 60 miles long west of the Galapagos Island. This indicates an increase in volcanic activity.

Fernandina, although uninhabited, is the most active island in the Galapagos archipelago. According to the Galapagos National Park, an eruption will not likely affect residents of the nearby Isabela Island, but it may affect the Galapagos' animal life.

The UNESCO declared in 1978 Galapagos as a World Heritage Site. Charles Darwin formulated his theory of evolution after he studied Galapagos' animal population. Since then, biologists, conservationists and tourists have been attracted to the islands. The Galapagos National Park said 41,000 tourists visited the islands for the first trimester of 2009.

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