Wednesday, March 16, 2011

The tsunami in Galapagos

In addition to the staggering devastation in Japan, the Galapagos Islands also experienced some damage from the tsunami. From an email from the Galapagos Conservancy:
The arrival of the waves in Galapagos (estimated at nearly 6 feet in Santa Cruz) coincided with high tide and caused significant damage to several coastlines and infrastructure in low lying areas. Fortunately, a tsunami alert was issued early Friday morning and most residents relocated to the highlands. There was no loss of human life, and the damage in Galapagos cannot be compared to the devastation and loss suffered in Japan, for whom we grieve.

The Charles Darwin Research Station did suffer serious damage; the Marine Science labs flooded with several feet of water. Despite emergency preparation, waves completely destroyed a concrete pump house and broke massive wooden doors, flooding laboratories, workshops, and storage facilities, scattering furniture and equipment as far as 650 feet away.

Staff and volunteers are hard at work, cleaning up, assessing damage, and planning for repairs. Galapagos Conservancy is hoping to aid the CDRS with an additional $40,000 in funding from supporters to help rebuild the labs and replace equipment so they can get up and running again as quickly as possible.

Additional reports are available from the Galapagos Conservancy website:

GNP News: The Galapagos National Park Service is Evaluating Damage Caused to Visitor Sites by Tsunami

Tsunami Aftermath in Galapagos: Update from CDRS' Director Dr. J. Gabriel Lopez

Feedback? Email me at toddcharleswood [at] gmail [dot] com.