The mysterious disappearance of an iconic waterfall


MYSTERY WIRE — For thousands of years water has poured over the San Rafael waterfall in Ecuador, until March 2. The falls stopped running. These falls are in an Amazon Jungle park called Cayambe Coca Park. The Coca River between the provinces of Napo and Sucumbíos was the source of the waterfall until it disappeared.

When running, the San Rafael falls were almost 500 feet tall (150 meters) and were the tallest in the. Now the water falls a few feet behind it, divided into three sections flowing under an arch. Local experts say a large sinkhole collapsed behind the falls causing the river to divert itself before the original drop.

CNN reported technicians at the Ministry of the Environment (MOE) 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 hydroelectric plant on the river. At this time the Ministry of Tourism does not plan to reconstruct the falls.

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