Easter Island Moais sustain damage in major fire

Rano Raraku national park suffered a fire that affected hundreds of hectares. It also damaged 30 Moais. Authorities are investigating the fire and evaluating its consequences for the island’s cultural heritage.

A fire near of Rano Raraku volcano on Easter Island severely damaged 30 Moais.

Local authorities are still evaluating the overall damage the fire caused. It started on Oct. 4 and could only be controlled one day later.

Moais are classified as world heritage. Rano Raraku hosts 386 of the iconic heads.

The damage is “irreparable and with consequences bigger than what the eyes can see,” Ariki Tepano of the Ma’u Henua community and who is in charge of the area, said in a social media post. Local media quoted Ninoska Huki, the local head of forestry authority Conaf, as saying that “there was no capability to combat [the fire] because we still don’t have a Conaf brigade.”

National monuments council CMN is gathering data for an analysis of the damage the fire caused, according to a press release. Flora and fauna were also affected.

The national park will remain closed while authorities and archeologists are investigating the event.

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