Villarrica’s other drama: photos show how its beach completely disappeared

After the latest rainfall recorded in the south of the country, various publications on social networks and local media reported this situation, which was later ratified by the Catholic University of Villarrica. The same thing happened a few kilometers away at Lake Calafquen (Lican Ray).

Not only were record rainfall recorded in Santiago, as the wettest winter since 2005, or the month of September with the most rain in more than two decades. In the south of the country, although more accustomed to more persistent rains, what has happened in recent weeks has also exceeded several records.

According to Chilean Meteorological Directorate (DMC), Villarrica, in the Araucanía region, has recorded 1319.1 mm so far this year, exceeding by more than double what happened in 2022, when he scored 636.3 mm.

In the midst of this scenario of abundant precipitation, to which is added intense volcanic activity, many tourists and neighbors were wondering a few days ago, why the main beach of the town and thermal spa had disappeared . After the last frontal system hit the area, the water started to rise, to the point of “erasing” the beach and sand so characteristic of the place.

Another tragedy in Villarrica: its beach has completely disappeared. Photo: UC Villarrica

Different records on social networks and local media, show what was described. To which is added a series of photographs captured by the Catholic University of Villarrica. The water from the lake (which totals 176 km2) reached the shore, located right next to the beach.

The situation repeated itself in other bodies of water in the region, such as Lake Calafquén (Lican Ray), located 30 km south of Villarrica and which has an area of ​​120.6 km2. For the good of the community, the situation remains under control, without risk of water infiltration into the city.

The water has made the beach disappear. Credit: UC Villarrica

Pablo Rojas, marine biologist and researcher at Autonomous university establishes that the considerable increase in the level of Lake Villarrica, which has practically caused the beach to disappear, It is the result of a combination of climatic and geographical factors.

In the first place, Heavy rainfall recorded in the area in recent months has contributed significantly to the increased flow of rivers flowing into the lake. , which significantly raised the water level. Additionally, the region’s topography, with rivers flowing into the lake, makes it particularly sensitive to variations in precipitation. Lake Calafquen experienced a similar situation due to similar weather conditions. » says Rojas.

Lake Villarrica beach: is it temporary or will it last over time?

Rojas indicates that although it is difficult to predict with certainty the exact duration of this phenomenon, it is expected that the increase in the level of Lake Villarrica is mainly temporary and linked with current climatic conditions.

Image of the lake. Credit: UC Villarrica

“Once precipitation decreases and the rivers that feed the lake reduce their flow, the lake level should return to normal . However, it is important to monitor the situation closely and consider the impact of climate change on precipitation patterns and river flow in the long term,” he adds.

Villarrica. Credit: UC Villarrica

Several climatic phenomena can affect such situations, including the El Niño phenomenon and the aforementioned climate change, explains the researcher. The Child, who It is characterized by an abnormal warming of the waters of the equatorial Pacific, may lead to increased precipitation in some areas of Chile and, consequently, an increase in the flow of rivers flowing into lakes.

On the other hand, adds Rojas, climate change changes precipitation patterns and temperature around the world, which can contribute to extreme weather events, such as heavy rain. Importantly, this can increase the frequency and intensity of these events, requiring action to be taken to adapt to their effects.

The water even reached the street lights. Credit: UC Villarrica

Source: Latercera

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