Ecuador’s largest waterfall goes missing

Posted on 2 April 2020 By Adrian Brown

Ecuador’s largest waterfall, San Rafael Waterfall, seems to have disappeared. A sinkhole has swallowed a large part of the waterfall’s water source.

The waterfall, which is on the Coca River, was one of the top attractions in the area. It’s water falls from 150 metres high, and the river moves through a forest where the Andes Mountains and the Amazon Basin meet.

However, the water’s flow came to a halt on 2 February, 2020. Local reports claimed that a sinkhole appeared in the Coca River, just before the falls. This diverted the course of the water. Now, three soft streams replace the mighty waterfall.

Here is a comparison of before and after:

Image: Twitter / Las Ultimas Noticias


NASA’s satelite images clearly show the change:

Image: Twitter / NASA en espanol


The loss of the heavily flowing water could affect the topography of the valley. According to CNN travel, the site is now closed down and will no longer form a part of the country’s tourism industry or attractions. The Minstry of Tourism also has no plans to reconstruct the waterfall, NASA reports.

The cause of the sinkhole is not yet known, but some geologists have suggested that it is a natural occurance. On the other hand, there have been a few researchers who blame the construction of a hydroelectric plant for the sinkhole.


Image: Twitter / Artos 

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