Tsunami issues for the Galapagos
As you are probably already aware, an earthquake of magnitude 8.9 struck the coast of Japan about 11 hours ago, causing a large Tsunami alert for the Pacific Coast. A Tsunami warning was issued by the US National Weather Service earlier today for 50 countries, amongst which are Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands. These waves are scheduled to arrive in the Galapagos Islands at 16h30 local time (17h30 Mainland Ecuador time).
Expected Impact in Galapagos
Weather experts in Ecuador declared this morning that a similar situation to the one witnessed in Hawaii earlier today is expected in the Galapagos. The taller than usual waves, which arrived about every 15 minutes to the Hawaiian coast had no real damaging effects on the shores and ports of the islands. A very similar scenario is expected in the Galapagos today. As a safety precaution, Quasar Expeditions’ yachts have been relocated to the southwest of the archipelago as of early this morning, 10 miles off the nearest shore. This is expected to be the most protected area of the islands from the waves that will arrive from the northeast. The Galapagos National Park has closed all visitor sites today and our guests will spend the day aboard their yacht until the Tsunami Warning in Ecuador is lifted.
International Flights to Ecuador
All international flights into Quito and Guayaquil are operating normally and no delays or cancellations are expected. We do not anticipate having any complications with our passengers for tomorrow’s departures.
Flights to the Galapagos Islands
As a safety precaution, local airlines have suspended flight operations to the Galapagos Islands today. However, we spoke to the operations manager of one of the major domestic airlines earlier who informed us that flights are expected to resume operations normally tomorrow. We do not anticipate any major delays with our regular operation for those passengers leaving for the Galapagos or returning to mainland Ecuador, but we do suggest that all passengers be patient with tomorrows’ commuting to the Islands. Airports in Galapagos are expected to have twice the number of flights tomorrow to normalize the situation of those passengers stranded in mainland Ecuador today. We will send an update later in the day with the status of tomorrow’s flight operations once we have received a final word from the airlines. Our yachts will be on stand-by at port tomorrow in case this scenario should change in any way.
A Further Update at the End of the Day Today
An additional update will be sent at the end of the afternoon today after the waves arrive to the Galapagos Islands. No damaging effects on the Islands are expected as a result of the waves, but we will keep you informed of the exact impact on the archipelago, the situation with flights for tomorrow and the status of the Tsunami warning in Ecuador.