Tag Archives: Galapagos Islands

Tsunami Update: Galapagos, Costa Rica, Peru, Chile

Although the tsunami caused by the Japanese earthquake mostly spared Latin America severe damage, it did affect certain locations along Central America and South America’s coasts.

GALAPAGOS

Photo Credit: Flurdy, http://www.flickr.com/photos/flurdy/3990790578/

Waves Pummel the Coast of Galapagos

Although initial reports claimed that there was minimal damage to the islands, they appear to have been one of the hardest-hit areas in Latin America. A tip sent in to Lorraine Caputo reports that many businesses in Puerto Ayora were flooded, including the artisan market, though most have reopened. More distressingly, a number of homes in the Barrio Punta Estrada neighborhood were damaged.  The Ecuadorian government is sending assistance to those impacted by the waves.

COSTA RICA

In Osa harbor, on the southern Pacific coast, several boats were damaged or destroyed by the surging tide.

PERU

At least one person in Peru died as a result of the tsunami. A man trying to watch the tsunamis from the beach resort of San Bartolo, near Lima, fell on the rocks and died. Meanwhile, on the northern coast, a small boat carrying 10 fishermen has been missing since Friday. Finally, the towns of Pisco, Paracas and San Andrés, all devastated by an earthquake and tsunami in 2007, received rather significant flooding on Friday night as a result of the tsunami waves. Video here.

CHILE

215 houses were damaged in Chile early on Saturday morning, the vast majority of them in the settlement of Puerto Viejo, in the northern region of Atacama.

Galapagos Entry Fees Increase…Again

In recurring news that is starting to get a little old, INGALA, the Ecuadorian institution that regulates the Galapagos National Park, has announced that the already steep park entry fee for foreigners will double in 2009. Currently, non-Ecuadorian park visitors must pay $100 per person upon arrival in Galapagos. This money is used for park services such as rangers and control of introduced species. Beginning in 2009, this fee will double to $200. Combined with the new $100 tax on those taking cruise tours (as opposed to land-based ones) and the $10 Transit Control Card, most visitors will pay $310 per person simply for the privilege of setting foot on Galapagos. INGALA figures that 2009, which is the 200th anniversary of the birth of Charles Darwin, will see a huge influx of visitors to the islands. Pessimists will note that despite hundreds of thousands of tourists paying park taxes, preventable problems such as introduced animals and illegal shark fishing continue to be as rampant as ever, while optimists can hope that doubling park resources may finally make a dent in these troubles.