Ecuador Taking Urgent Steps to Stem Effects of Galapagos Fuel Spill

Photo from the unique Galapagos Islands.  Photo:

HAVANA TIMES – Ecuador is taking urgent action to prevent environmental damage to the UNESCO-listed Galapagos Islands after a ship carrying around 2,500 liters of diesel sank there on Sunday.

Environmental minister Raul Ledesma Huerta tweeted that the government is taking immediate measures to try to reduce the damage and stem the problem to the delicate ecological balance.

The Galapagos National Park tweeted that protective barriers have been put up and oil-absorbent cloths are being used to stem the spread of the spill.

The ship sank at a small pier near the island of San Cristobal.

A crane had collapsed while loading a container at the port and crashed into the ship, the newspaper El Comercio reported. The crew members were able to save themselves by jumping into the sea. One person was injured.

The Galapagos Islands to the west of Ecuador have been counted among UNESCO’s World Heritage sites since 1978, owing to their unique flora and fauna.

The archipelago, with around 130 islands, is part of Ecuador and is located about 1,000 kilometres away from the mainland.

Land iguanas, giant tortoises and many types of finches are among the unusual animals on the islands. In 1835, Charles Darwin visited the archipelago on a trip which is said to have inspired his theory of evolution by natural selection.

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