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Apocalyptic landscapes lure tourists to Argentine ghost town

Thursday, November 12, 2015 - 01:33

Former residents walk amid the ruins of Epecuen 30, years after a flood submerged the one time resort town in water. Rough Cut (subtitled - no reporter narration).

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SUBTITLED ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION) Over the past few years the town of Epecuen, located 550 km (341 miles) southwest of Buenos Aires, has been attracting tourists with its eerie apocalyptic atmosphere after a flood submerged it in salt water for more than two decades. Originally a busy lakeside tourist village in the 1920s renowned for its saltwater baths, Epecuen came to a sudden end in November 10, 1985 when a succession of rainy winters caused Lago Epecuen to overflow and water surged through a special retaining wall and into the town. Residents and tourists were forced to evacuate and in just a few days homes and buildings were covered by almost 10 meters (33 feet) of salt water. Now, 30 years on, the water has evaporated and former residents can walk amidst the rusted out ruins of what was once their town. "It's really difficult to define how I feel. I miss the place with the noises, with its smells, with its feelings, one misses the people, friends, the warmth of the big family that we were - these things I do miss, but you lose your identity, your roots, your belongings, you lose a lot of things that just now you can start defining because up until now and after 30 years you couldn't define it," said Viviana Castro, after placing up a memorial plaque near a former business. The lakeside resort used to be a top tourist destination in the country, as seen in this footage from 1954. People living in the country capital of Buenos Aires would flock to Epecuen by train or car in the summers to bathe and float in the salty thermal waters. Since the flooding in 1985, it took more than 25 years for the water to evaporate and in 2007 structures and objects from the town, rendered unrecognizable from the corrosive salt water, began to emerge. The ghost town, which now attracts curious tourists for its bizarre landscapes instead of its thermal waters, has only one inhabitant. Epecuen is a six hour drive from the capital and is located in Buenos Aires province.

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Apocalyptic landscapes lure tourists to Argentine ghost town

Thursday, November 12, 2015 - 01:33