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Tallest Galapagos volcano erupts, spewing lava

QUITO, ECUADOR (AP) – The tallest mountain in the Galapagos islands erupted on Friday, 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 rose to 3,793 metres above sea level following the eruption that began shortly before midnight on Wednesday, the Institute said.

Ecuador’s Emergency Operations Committee said the new eruption on Isabela Island, the largest in the Galapagos chain, didn’t represent a risk to humans or to native local species. Populated areas are located at the opposite side of the island.

But the Environment Ministry said eight people, including national park guards and scientists doing field work on pink iguanas living on the volcano’s slopes, were evacuated from the area.

The Galapagos Government Council said the emergency committee would continue monitoring the volcano to see in which direction the lava flows.

Lava is seen from the eruption of Wolf Volcano on Isabela Island, Galapagos Islands, Ecuador. PHOTO: AP