10am September 16, 1998

Richard Polatty

An eruption started on the flanks of Cerro Azul on September 15 in the late evening. The reports are sketchy still but I have spoken directly with the National Park on Isabela. As of 10am September 16, no one has actually gotten up to the flows. The reports were of a bright red incandescence seen from Puerto Villamil on Isabela. The inhabitants of Floreana also can see the red glow at night. There seem to be two bright spots. The elevation of the eruption was estimated to be at the 1200 meter level on the South side of Cerro Azul.

The Park will be sending representatives to the flows especially to check on the fire status. There is a population of Galapagos tortoises in the area. The area is a bit inaccessible but I hope to go up personally if the eruption lasts.

More news as it develops....

UPDATE - Seismic activity was recorded from Hawaii at 13:45 Galapagos time on September 15 making this the time of eruption. Often, eruptions aren't visually noticed until it gets dark though. Real time observations from the geosynchronous GOES 8 satellite show the heat from the eruption though. Apparently the eruption is occurring on the South-west flank fairly near where one would take the trail up to the summit. Check out this site:

Click here for photos courtesy of the Galapagos National Park

 The last image of the group is processed to show the most likely area of lava and fires. It corresponds to the eruption on Cerro Azul. These images are updated about every 15 minutes - watch how it develops!

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