Sierra Negra Eruption 2018
On June 26, 2016 an increase in seismic activity near the Sierra Negra volcano within the Galapagos National Park was detected, indicating that an eruption was beginning. An Orange Alert was issued, resulting in 50 people being evacuated from their homes in the area. The Galapagos National Park Directorate (GNPD) has closed the site to visitors until further notice. The GNPD is monitoring the Sierra Negra volcano, and two technitions from the park have been visiting the area surrounding the volcano daily to record the presence of new lava flows that are in the process of solidifying, as well as ash fall, gasses and the level of overall volcanic activity. Potential changes in the ecosystem that could occur are being monitored by GNPD officials as they have the potential to impact four populations of giant tortoises as well as a population of land iguanas. However, current lava flows are not heading toward these populations.
The Sierra Negra volcano has steep slopes and is a shield-type volcano, like the other volcanoes in the Archipelago. Sierra Negra has one of the largest craters in the world, with a diameter of approximately 6 miles and elevation of nearly 3,700 feet above sea level. The last eruptions were recorded in 2005 and 1979.