In Galapagos Islands, a 180-Day State of Emergency

Freighter has run aground in Shipwreck Bay
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 6, 2015 9:18 AM CST
This May 9, 2014, photo released by Galapagos National Park shows a freighter that ran aground in the Galapagos Islands.   (AP Photo/Galapagos National Park)

(Newser) – Those darn freighters: Ecuador has again declared a state of emergency in the protected Galapagos Islands after a cargo ship carrying 13,000 gallons of fuel ran aground last week. No fuel was spilled, and about 85% of it has since been removed. "There is no kind of environmental damage," Galapagos' governor tells the Wall Street Journal. "The greatest danger has passed." However, the 180-day state of emergency will make accessible the funds needed to remove the freighter Floreana from Naufragio Bay (fitting translation: Shipwreck Bay) as the ship houses other pollutants that a scientist warns could threaten the bay's "great biological diversity."

The scientist says the "very large colonies of sea lions and invertebrate species from the coast" could be affected were the ship to break up, though material has been placed around the ship that's intended to house any fuel that could leak. Officials say it should take about 15 days to refloat and remove the freighter. The state of emergency, which promises "necessary and timely measures" to protect the ecosystem, instructs Galapagos National Park to provide "technical and logistical assistance and execute action plans and measures necessary to reduce the direct environmental impact" of the wreck, EFE reports, per Fox News. (In happier news, the Galapagos' giant tortoise population is booming.)

My Take on This Story
Show results without voting  |