The tallest mountain in the Galápagos Islands was erupting on Friday, January 7, spewing lava down its flanks and clouds of ash over the Pacific Ocean, according to Ecuador’s Geophysical Institute.
A cloud of gas and ash from Wolf Volcano on Isabela Island rose to 3,793 meters (12,444 feet) above sea level following the eruption that began shortly before midnight local time on January 5, the Institute said.
There was no immediate danger to populated areas, which are located at the opposite side of Isabela Island, the largest in the Galápagos chain. But the Environment Ministry said eight people, including national park guards and scientists doing field work on endangered pink iguanas living on the volcano’s slopes, were evacuated from the area. The national park confirmed in a Facebook post that the living area of the pink iguanas is far from the eruption and the impact zone, so additional measures won’t be necessary to protect them.
The 1,701-meter (5,580-foot) volcano is one of numerous active volcanoes in the Galápagos, which are nearly 1,000 kilometers (600 miles) from mainland South America.
Images taken from afar and circulated by the government showed glowing lava piercing the predawn darkness.
The volcano last erupted in 2015.