Volcano on uninhabited Galapagos island erupts, sends lava flowing to sea

In this photo released by Galapagos National, La Cumbre volcano erupts at Fernandina Island, in Galápagos Islands, Ecuador. Sunday, March 3, 2024. (Galapagos National Park via AP)

In this photo released by Galapagos National, La Cumbre volcano erupts at Fernandina Island, in Galápagos Islands, Ecuador. Sunday, March 3, 2024. (Galapagos National Park via AP)

QUITO, Ecuador (AP) — A volcano on an uninhabited island in the Galapagos has begun erupting, lighting up the nighttime sky as lava tumbled down its sides toward the sea.

The La Cumbre volcano on Fernandina island began erupting Saturday around midnight in what officials with Ecuador’s Geophysical Institute said could be its largest eruption since 2017. The 1,476-meter (4,842-foot) volcano last erupted in 2020.

Images shared on social media taken by visitors to the Galapagos show the volcano profiled against a crimson red sky.

While the eruption posed no risk to humans, the island is home to a number of species, including iguanas, penguins and flightless cormorants. In 2019, scientists found on the island a giant tortoise not seen in more than a century and had been feared extinct.

The La Cumbre volcano is one of the most active in the Galapagos Island chain, which is famous throughout the world for helping 19th century British scientist Charles Darwin develop his theory of evolution.

Science News

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