Nizhny Novgorod, Russia
Residents of a village in central Russia are trying to solve the mystery of a lake that disappeared overnight. Russia's NTV channel showed a huge, muddy basin where the lake once was, in the village of Bolotnikovo.
"It looks like somebody has pulled the plug out of a gigantic bath," said the TV's correspondent, next to a deep debris-filled hole.
Local officials in Nizhny Novgorod region say the lake was probably sucked into an underground cave. The name of the village - which lies about 250 km (155 miles) east of Moscow - roughly translates as "boggy".
The discovery was made by local fishermen when they arrived at the lake early in the morning.
"I looked and there was no water. I thought: Oh my God, what's going on?" one of them told the TV.
Rescuers were called out to search the uncovered lake bed to see if anybody could have been sucked under, but it is thought no-one was on the lake when the waters vanished.
"It's very dangerous. If somebody is caught by such a calamity, the chances of survival are practically nil," fireman Dmitry Zaitsev said, pointing out that lakeside trees appeared to have been dragged down with the water.
The lake's disappearance may have been caused by subsidence allowing the water to drain into a cave system or underground river, local official Dmitry Klyuev said.
According to Mr Klyuev, several houses were swallowed up in similar circumstances 70 years ago.
But more supernatural explanations were circulating among the villagers, including the influence of dark forces.
Village youngsters said the lake had appeared during the reign of the feared Tsar Ivan the Terrible and had been "shrouded in dark mystery" ever since.
"We used to go swimming there, but we were rather afraid of its depth, and there were various rumours. For instance people said there used to be a church there underwater," one girl told the TV.
But one elderly villager sitting outside her house had another kind of force in mind.
"I thought the Americans had got
here," she said, laughing.
Story from BBC NEWS:
Published: 2005/05/20 15:24:39 GMT
© BBC MMVIII
The landscape on the forest edge near the village looks like the water has gone under the ground from an unplugged gigantic bathtub.
A large lake disappeared in Russia's Nizhni Novgorod region overnight. Residents of the village of Bolotnikovo discovered a huge trench instead of a million cubic meters of water on Thursday morning. No other lake appeared in the area.
There are only 300 meters between the lake and the village, Russian NTV channel reports. The landscape on the forest edge near the village looks like the water has gone under the ground from an unplugged gigantic bathtub. Village residents asked Russia's emergency services for help.
Specialists arrived at the site of the incident and examined the bottom of the lake seeking possible victims. Luckily, there were no people near the lake when it was virtually emptied. Dmitry Zaitsev, the chief of the local firefighting brigade, said that a large number of trees had been sucked under the ground. If a human being finds himself in the middle of such a disaster, there will be no chances for a person to survive, Zaitsev said.
Local residents were shocked to find out that their lake had literally vanished from the area. Village fishermen came to the lake early in the morning. I was amazed to see that there was no water there. All I could think of was oh, my God, a local resident said. One of the men assumed that the USA had been involved in such an amazing natural phenomenon: I think that America got us here, a man said.
An official from a neighboring village, Alexander Kluyev, believes that the lake has flown into an underground river. I think that the vault of a large underground cave came down and connected with a river there. We believe that there is a certain underground river flowing here in the area, and the water of the lake has gone under the ground, said he.
Officials from the regional administration said that several houses went under the ground in the village of Bolotnikovo 70 years ago.
SOURCE: Pravda Ru
In a bizarre twist
of nature, a lake disappeared overnight in Russia. A
lake turned into a mud pit overnight in Nizhni
Novogorod, 250km to the east of Moscow. The picture
shows the shore of what used to be lake, and its
Russia's Ministry of Emergency Management assembled an investigation team made up of geologists and flood experts, which embarked on 'lake-searching' with cutting-edge electronic equipments and geological surveying tools. As a result, on June 16th, the team announced their finding that the lake (note: the whole body of water from the lake) moved down to 100m underground.
Geologist Pavel Ivanov explained, "The lake was located on a geological structure which is like a Swiss-cheese. The body of water was rapidly sucked into a biggest hole." The underground cave was formed 200million years ago, according to the investigators. Flood expert Mikhail Leonenko also commented, "Water was drained into an underground cave through a hole at the bottom of the lake. The body of water could reemerge."
The lake is 300m away from the village. According to Russia media, some villagers believe that God's curse is at work, since the lake first appeared during the reign of Ivan the Terrible and there used to be an Orthodox church at the location.
/end my tanslation
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