Geamăna, a Romanian village flooded by a toxic lake

Lac toxique de Geamana, Roumanie

Geamăna is an unwanted wonder of Romania

Copper mining in the Roșia Poieni mines in the Romanian Western Carpathian Mountains (Apuseni) in Romania was like a curse for the inhabitants of the two villages at the foot of the mountains where digging work was carried out. Their ordeal began in 1977, when Romania’s Communist dictator Nicolae Ceaușescu decided to exploit the huge copper deposit discovered in the ground. The government forced the inhabitants of the nearby village of Geamăna to leave their homes and abandon their way of life in order to make room for the toxic waste from the Roșia Poieni mining pit.

Lac toxique de Geamana, Roumanie

Some 400 families were evacuated and their village replaced by an artificial lake that served as a sort of « sewer » for the contaminated sludge that flowed from the mine. The lake’s waters are highly toxic, contaminated with cyanide and other chemicals. As the lake has widened, it has swallowed up what was once a charming village, of which all that remains is the church tower and a few houses, which can be seen protruding from the colored (or discolored) waters.

Not very cheerful or nice to read, but the color of the water and the landscape surrounding this lake are a good excuse to come and take a few photos. For those who want to get there, Lake Geamăna is only a 1h45-minute drive from Cluj-Napoca.

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Photo Credit : Amusing Planet