We are very sad to hear the news about the earthquake in Japan today. Unfortunately, the news could get worse as the day goes on as Tsunami warnings have been issued for over 20 countries in the Pacific region, among them the Galapagos Islands and coast of Ecuador. We certainly hope the tsunami’s don’t materialize and no further tragedies occur.
Ecuador President Rafael Correa has declared a state of Exception/Emergency in Ecuador and the Galapagos, canceling all flights to the Galapagos, closing ports, and requiring everyone in the Galapagos to move to higher areas of the islands.
We’ve been receiving reports all morning from our Galapagos providers, and we are not surprised to see all of them taking such pro-active measures to protect travelers (and staff).
Here is a bit more from partner Ecoventura:
“The tsunami is expected to arrive in Galapagos later this afternoon, the exact time could be anywhere from 3 to 7PM local Galapagos time. Therefore, we do have sufficient time to take necessary precautions. Flights to Galapagos today have been cancelled and there is an evacuation order in effect. All tour boats are required to leave port and be at least five miles offshore. The local populations will need to seek higher ground to the highlands and mid sections of the Islands by noon today. Obviously, all visits today have been cancelled. The Flamingo and Letty, currently with passengers on board, will sail towards Santa Fe Island and stay 15 miles in between the islands. The Galapagos Sky, anchored in Cristobal will sail offshore and the ERIC is dry docked in Guayaquil.”
Plans are for everything to return to normal tomorrow, although this will be modified if a large tsunami does hit and does damage in the islands.
Best wishes to all in Japan, as well as everyone who may possibly be affected in the Pacific.