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Aceredo, Spain, ghost town a tourist attraction after dam empties


Concello de Lobios, Spain: A ghost village that has emerged as drought has nearly emptied a dam on the Spanish-Portuguese border is drawing crowds of tourists with its eerie, grey ruins.

With the reservoir at 15 per cent of its capacity, details of a life frozen in 1992, when the Aceredo village in Spain’s north-western Galicia region was flooded to create the Alto Lindoso reservoir, are being revealed.

“It’s as if I’m watching a movie. I have a feeling of sadness,” said 65-year-old pensioner Maximino Perez Romero, from A Coruna. “My feeling is that this is what will happen over the years due to drought and all that, with climate change.”

Tourists walk through the ruins of the partly submerged Aceredo village buildings as they emerge from the river Lima.

Tourists walk through the ruins of the partly submerged Aceredo village buildings as they emerge from the river Lima.Credit:Getty Images

Walking on the muddy ground cracked by the drought in some spots, visitors found partially collapsed roofs, bricks and wooden debris that once made up doors or beams, and even a drinking fountain with water still streaming from a rusty pipe.

Crates with empty beer bottles were stacked by what used to be a cafe, and a semi-destroyed old car was rusting away by a stone wall. Drone footage showed the derelict buildings.

Maria del Carmen Yanez, mayor of the larger Lobios council of which Aceredo is part, blamed the situation on the lack of rain in recent months, particularly in January, but also on what she said was “quite aggressive exploitation” by Portugal’s power utility EDP, which manages the reservoir.

Some 250 people were forced to move to a village above the Lindoso reservoir and a church was moved to another town stone by stone to make room for the dam 30 years ago.

Some 250 people were forced to move to a village above the Lindoso reservoir and a church was moved to another town stone by stone to make room for the dam 30 years ago.Credit:Getty Images

On February 1, Portugal’s government ordered six dams, including Alto Lindoso, to nearly halt water use for electricity production and irrigation, due to the worsening drought.

Contacted by Reuters, EDP said the low reservoir levels were due to the drought, but that it was managing water resources “efficiently” and that these were above the minimum requirements, including Alto Lindoso.



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