Missing: Ecuador's Largest Waterfall

EnolaGaia

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It will be interesting to find out whether the cause was natural or related to construction along that particular stream.
Ecuador's largest waterfall has disappeared

The largest waterfall in Ecuador has seemingly vanished after a sinkhole swallowed part of its water source.

San Rafael Waterfall on the Coca River was a prominent tourist attraction for the country, and according to NASA, drew tens of thousands of people every year. The water dropped 150 feet into a crater-like opening on the other side.

Now, the iconic waterfall is gone, replaced by three streams, NASA said. All tourism to the site has been closed and it no longer appears on the country's travel website.

Experts at the Ministry of the Environment (MOE) in Ecuador believe the event happened in early February upstream, and diverted the current river pattern underground.

Shortly after, MOE technicians said they inspected the waterfall and reported "possible undermining of the river's path, prior to the fall of the waterfall."

However, they could not determine an exact cause at the time.

There is some discrepancy over if it was a natural phenomenon, or caused by construction of a hyrdoplant on the river.

The Ministry of Tourism does not plan to reconstruct the falls, NASA said.
SOURCE (With Before & After Photos):
https://www.cnn.com/2020/04/01/world/san-rafael-waterfall-gone-trnd/index.html
 

Min Bannister

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There is no date on this article about the hydro scheme but it seems to pre-date completion which started in 2010 and was due to finish in 2016. The drying up of the falls was predicted then.

https://www.power-technology.com/projects/coca-codo-sinclair-hydroelectric-project/

The project will reportedly affect approximately 2,000 people. The major controversies are that it will render the San Rafael Falls, the tallest waterfall of Ecuador, dry and that the road constructions to the project site have led to deforestation in the UNESCO Sumaco Biosphere Reserve.
 

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Fascinating to see the place where the falls used to be.
 
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