Galapagos emergency over stranded ship with hazardous contents (including 45,000 litres of oil)

Ecuador has announced a state of emergency in the Galapagos Islands, a week after a cargo ship with hazardous materials ran aground there. The Floreana – which ferries food and other supplies to the Unesco world heritage site – was also carrying 45,000 litres (10,000 gallons) of fuel. Booms have been used to contain a fuel spill in the pristine waters.

The islands – famous for their unique flora and fauna – lie some 1,000km (600 miles) off Ecuador’s Pacific coast. The emergency “will allow authorities to have immediate [financial] means to deal with the situation”, a Galapagos National Park spokesman told the AFP news agency.

The ship’s hull was reportedly destroyed in the incident on 28 January. Rescue teams are now trying to refloat and remove the vessel. This is not the first such incident. Last year, another cargo ship ran aground. And in 2001, an oil spill devastated marine iguana populations.

Video of Galapagos Islands

Further information

BBC news article, Galapagos emergency over stranded ship

Daily News  article: State of emergency declared in Galápagos: Ship with hazardous materials runs aground and could threaten islands’ unique ecosystem

Streetview of Galapagos Islands:
In partnership with the Directorate of the Galapagos National Park and Charles Darwin Foundation, Streetview has 360-degree images from the Galapagos Islands.  Now, you can visit the islands from anywhere you may be, and see many of the animals that Darwin experienced on his historic and groundbreaking journey in 1835.