Yungay, the city in Peru that disappeared in the 1970s

    In May 1970, a devastating earthquake completely destroyed Yungay. Which, today, is an incredible ghost town
    Yungay, the city in Peru that disappeared in the 1970s
    Source: Wikimedia Commons

    There is a city in Peru that is much more than a ghost town. It is a still, almost sinister place. A place where time has stopped, and the story has no happy ending.



    It is the city of Yungay, 15 kilometers further than the snow-capped peaks of the Andes mountain range. Here, on May 31, 1970, a devastating earthquake struck: 7.5 degrees on the Richter scale, with an epicenter in the Pacific Ocean and a devastating force. An enormous avalanche of ice and rock broke loose from Mount Huascaran, engulfing Yungay and all (or almost all) of its inhabitants.

    Yungay, the city in Peru that disappeared in the 1970s

    The tragedy happened at 15.25pm. People were at home, or in clubs, busy watching the Football World Cup. And he didn't have a chance. The avalanche overwhelmed a gigantic area, 83 thousand square kilometers, and took with it houses, roads and lives. Almost all the inhabitants died, e.g only the few people survived (no more than 300) cwho managed to reach the steps of the cemetery which still looks down on the city.

    That day the earthquake occurred 74 thousand victims, and 25 thousand are still officially missing. Today, the entire territory that was once the city of Yungay is a huge cemetery. And it is certainly not a tourist destination: even backpackers are unlikely to decide to visit it.

    Yungay, the city in Peru that disappeared in the 1970s

    There is little information about this city with such a tragic history, and even less information. If you reach her, however, you take home a little of her story. The story of an old city of which only four palm trees and the ancient cemetery remain. For the rest, only tombs and crosses surrounded by vegetation.

    Despite the ruins that chronicle that natural disaster – the worst South America has ever experienced – Yungay is now a place of peace. A place over which the cemetery watches over, with the statue of Christ built at the end of the nineteenth century by the Swiss architect Arnold Ruska, and on which stands – solitary – a memorial. This is why anyone who has the Andes Cordillera among the stops on their trip to Peru should travel this far: to take a piece of history with them, to breathe it, and to remember how devastating nature can be.

    Yungay, the city in Peru that disappeared in the 1970s

    add a comment of Yungay, the city in Peru that disappeared in the 1970s
    Comment sent successfully! We will review it in the next few hours.

    End of content

    No more pages to load