ROMANIA – The inhabitants of Geamana village had to evacuate, and their once joyful home became a colorful, hazardous waste-filled lake due to the nearby copper mines’ toxic discharge.
According to the American travel magazine Atlas Obscura, Geamana village, located in Alba County, approximately 30 kilometers northeast of Alba Iulia city, enjoyed prosperous times, with its residents leading happy lives.
However, in 1977, copper mines were discovered in the Apuseni Mountains near Geamana. Nicolae Ceausescu, the leader of Romania at the time, decided to exploit these mines and considered Geamana village as the “perfect bowl” to contain his newly concocted toxic soup. In 1977, Ceausescu ordered the complete evacuation of the entire village to flood the area.
Initially, the Rosia Poieni mine produced 11,000 tons of copper ore annually. The mining activities generated a substantial amount of hazardous waste that needed proper disposal.
Four hundred families had to evacuate as the village turned into a “bowl of toxic soup.” As copper mining expanded, the area of the waste water reservoir grew, gradually swallowing the entire village. The only remnants of the village that remained visible were the church and a few scattered houses.