Ecuador’s San Rafael Waterfall, seems to have almost entirely disappeared.

A sinkhole is reported to have swallowed a large part of the waterfall’s water source.

The waterfall, which lies along the Coca River, was one of the area’s premier attractions. 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 powerful flow came to a halt on 2 February, 2020 with local reports claiming 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 before and after comparison:

Image: Twitter / Las Ultimas Noticias



NASA’s satelite images clearly show the change:

Image: Twitter / NASA en espanol

The loss of flowing water could affect the topography of the valley.

The site is now closed down and will no longer form a part of the country’s tourism industry or attractions, according to CNN travel. The Minstry of Tourism also has no plans to reconstruct the waterfall, NASA reports.



The cause of the sinkhole is still unknown, but some geologists have stated that it is most likely a natural occurance. In contrast to this, there have been a few researchers who blame the construction of a hydroelectric plant for the sinkhole.