Quito (AFP) – Ecuadoran authorities called for a state of emergency to be declared in the Galapagos Islands on Saturday as they aimed to limit damage to the archipelago’s pristine environment after a ship ran aground.
Galapagos National Park officials said they are seeking an environmental emergency declaration to help them deal with the Floreana since Wednesday’s incident.
The ship was carrying 1,400 tons of cargo, including food and hazardous substances as well as some 10,000 gallons of fuel.
It is at least the third such incident in the past year.
Marine reserve officials said the emergency declaration “would put the needed economic resources at the disposal of authorities so that they can deal with the situation” as they seek to offload the hazardous materials.
The Ecuadoran-owned Galapagos Islands are classified as a UNESCO world heritage site.
Located some 1,000 kilometres (620 miles) off Ecuador’s Pacific coast, they are famed for the large number of species that have developed there in isolation.