Via Southern Fried Scientist, the Galapagos-based Charles Darwin Foundation reports:

In the aftermath of the tidal surges induced by the March 11th Japan earthquake and tsunami, a team of more than 20 staff and volunteers worked shoulder to shoulder to clear debris, retrieve equipment and clean laboratories, offices and storage buildings at the Marine Sciences complex of the Galapagos-based Charles Darwin Foundation (CDF) and Research Station on Santa Cruz Island.

The powerful surf hit Santa Cruz with waves up to 1.77m /5.8 feet above normal…. The waves also coincided with the local high tide, sending the first wall of water into the CDF installation at approximately 18:00. …

“The waves,” stated Dr. Volker Koch, CDF Director of Marine Sciences, “completely destroyed a concrete pump house, broke through heavy wooden doors, flooded laboratories, workshops and storage facilities, and carried off furniture and equipment,” despite advance emergency preparation. …

No injuries were sustained and no other areas of the CDF Research Station were significantly damaged.

The famous tortoise George had apparently been evacuated to higher ground, and is safe.


  1. #1 Greg Laden
    March 18, 2011

    Bummer. I had wondered about the Galapagos, but since I hadn’t heard anything, well, I thought no news was good news.

    At least nothing went extinct. Or evolved.

  2. #2 Galapagosguide
    March 18, 2011

    It was a very unfortunate incident and thankfully no one was injured. Great job by all of the community members and municipalities to work together to evacuate people AND animals, as well as join up again in the aftermath.

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