SAN SALVADOR – Wildlife authorities say a strong earthquake in the Pacific Ocean late Sunday destroyed more than 45,000 endangered sea turtle eggs on the coast of El Salvador.
The director of the turtle conservation program for the El Salvador Zoological Foundation says the 7.4-magnitude undersea quake sent at least three waves at least 30 feet high up the beach and destroyed thousands of nests and just-hatched turtles. It also washed up on about 150 people collecting eggs in order to protect them in special pens hundreds of feet up the beach. The waves injured three.
Program director Emilio Leon said that in the last year and a half the foundation has successfully hatched and released 700,000 turtles from four species at risk of extinction.