Tag Archive: South America


Villa Epecuen: Argentina’s Ghost Town

 

 

 

 

” Drive six hours southwest of Buenos Aires and you’ll stumble across a scene that looks downright apocalyptic: streets washed away; once proud houses, businesses and hotels reduced to piles of rubbish; greenery replaced by hundreds of chunky, white-washed stumps that reach toward the sun with rotten branches; and graveyards churned up, broken tombs spewing forth rotting carcasses and piles of bones.

This is Villa Epecuen, an Argentine Ghost town that’s slowly emerging from the depths of the neighboring lake for the first time in 25 years.

But soon Villa Epecuen’s growth would come to a screeching halt. In 1980 the area experienced a slow but drastic climate shift that dumped large amounts of rain in the lake. Because Lago Epecuen had no outlet to drain the influx of water, the lake slowly swelled, according to NASA. By 1985 the lake’s waters were already testing the limits of the dike that protected the village. On November 10, 1985 a severe storm blew through the area, causing the water level in Lago Epecuen to swell until it broke through the dike. A torrent of water cascaded into town, inundating the streets. 

Over the next eight years the lake would continue to grow, until eventually, in 1993, Villa Epecuen sat 33 feet below the surface of Lago Epecuen. By then visits from tourists had long since dried out, and all but one of Villa Epecuen’s habitants had left behind their dreams of a life on the lake, according to Vice. ” 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chile Rushes To Aid Ship In Antarctica After Fire

 

 

 

 

” A Chilean military tugboat was heading to Antarctica on Thursday to prevent an environmental disaster by retrieving a Chinese fishing ship that caught fire and began to drift dangerously near sharp glaciers.

The Kai Xin vessel burned off the coast of Antarctica Wednesday. Its 97 crew members were rescued by the Juvel, a Norwegian ship, about 55 kilometers from Chile’s Bernardo O’Higgins research base near the Antarctic peninsula.

The Kai Xin is now unmanned, and a navy tugboat left port in Punta Arenas, near the southern tip of South America, to tow the ship to harbor.

“The ship has been drifting in zigzags and circles at about 5 knots per hour. It’s very close to glaciers and we’ve sent the tugboat in case it hits the coast causing an oil spill,” said Capt. Juan Villegas, maritime governor for Chile’s portion of Antarctica.

The Kai Xin left port in Uruguay and Chilean officials don’t know how much fuel it’s carrying. Fog forced Chile’s air force to cancel a flight on Thursday to check on the its condition.

“The ship seems in good conditions from the photos we’ve seen,” Villegas told The Associated Press. “The fire seems to have taken place at the engines and there’s no risk of sinking.”

A Panamanian-flagged Chinese ship, Skyfrost, also was nearing the area to help tow the ship, he said.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez Dies From Cancer

 

 

 

” Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez has died after a two-year battle with cancer, ending the socialist leader’s 14-year rule of the South American country, Vice President Nicolas Maduro said in a televised speech on Tuesday.

The flamboyant 58-year-old leader had undergone four operations in Cuba for a cancer that was first detected in his pelvic region in mid-2011. His last surgery was on December 11 and he had not been seen in public since.

“It’s a moment of deep pain,” Maduro, accompanied by senior ministers, said, his voice choking.

Chavez easily won a new six-year term at an election in October and his death will devastate millions of supporters who adored his charismatic style, anti-U.S. rhetoric and oil-financed policies that brought subsidized food and free health clinics to long-neglected slums.”