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Ghost Village in Spain Revealed After Drought Empties Reservoir

ancient spanish village
The ruins of a Aceredo, Spain. Credit: Miguel Vidal

Drone footage captured the emergence of a ghost village in Spain after a drought drained a dam on the Spanish-Portuguese border.

The Aceredo village in the Galicia region of Spain was flooded in 1992 by the Alto Linoso reservoir, which is now at 15% of its capacity, revealing the ruins.

What remained of the village was in disarray: collapsed roofs and houses, bricks and other building material that once supported walls, all lay strewn across the area.

Aceredo is part of the Lobios council. Lobios’s mayor, Maria del Carmen Yanez, said that the destruction was due to a drought that had lasted the past few months, especially in January. On February 1, Portugal’s government had multiple dams stop water use for electricity and irrigation, which intensified the drought even more.

“The situation of drought is worrying,” Environment minister Joao Pedro Matos Fernandes said at a news conference. “If the forecast becomes gloomier, we will have to go beyond these measures.”

More than half of Spain is experiencing a drought

The Portuguese Institute of Meteorology (IPMA) said that the drought started four months ago in November 2021 and that more than half of the country is currently in a moderate drought, while 44% is in a severe drought and 11% an extreme drought.

Many have spoken out over the environmental impact of the reservoirs. Several Spanish villages have issued complaints about power utility company Iberdrola using reservoir water from a lake in their region that shrank the reservoir down to 11% of its capacity.

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

People around the world have had their lives and homes upended by climate change. These consequences take on many more forms than just drought: from extreme weather events to loss of viable land for farming, rising sea levels, and, now, the deterioration of personal health.

British insurance company CIA Landlords has indexed the best places in the world to live in order to mitigate the effects of climate change on your body. The company analyzed data on countries’ biosphere, air quality, and climate stability — the frequency of extreme weather events and susceptibility to long-term existential threats like rising sea levels.

CIA Landlords found that Scandinavian countries, especially Sweden, lead the world in air quality and climate stability. Sweden is heavily forested and its countless trees produce oxygen, which helps sustain the country’s climate.

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