Nobody realized, San Rafael Waterfall, the highest waterfall in Ecuador suddenly disappeared mysteriously. This was first revealed by NASA after conducting observations on the American continent using satellite imagery. At present all that remains of the San Rafael Waterfall is only three new rivers flowing in the upper reaches of the Coca River.
Some sources state that the disappearance of the San Rafael Waterfall occurred after the appearance of a mysterious hole in the Coca River that allegedly swallowed part of its water source. But experts at the Ecuadorian Ministry of Environment (MOE) believe the San Rafael Waterfall disappeared because of changes in the terrain in the headwaters of the Coca River, which has diverted river flow patterns.
Until now, the exact cause of changes in the upstream part of the Coca River is still being debated. Some think it is due to natural phenomena, while some consider that it is caused by the construction of hydroplants in rivers. Ecuadorian government in the near future has no plans to reconstruct so that the highest waterfall can flow again.
Lost Tourism Life
San Rafael Waterfall is the highest waterfall in Ecuador that slides as far as 45.7 meters to the bottom of the river in the downstream. This waterfall flows at the junction of the Andes Mountains and the Amazon Basin. The Coca River is the main supplier of waterfall discharge. Along Coca, you can see views of dense rain forests that are green and beautiful.
San Rafael Waterfall is a major tourist attraction in Ecuador which is a magnet for the arrival of tens of thousands of tourists every year. After disappearing, all tourism access to San Rafael Waterfall has been closed and no longer appears on the Ecuador tourism promotion site. And Ecuador also had to give up one of the best natural phenomena in the country mysteriously disappeared.
Human activity that damages the environment
One popular opinion underlying the disappearance of San Rafael Waterfall is due to the presence of a hydroplant around it. Hydroplant or hydropower is a generator that relies on the potential and kinetic energy of water to produce electricity. Its relatively low costs make it a competitive source for renewable energy.
Hydroplant can be an environmentally friendly alternative energy because it produces renewable energy. But if the development is not environmentally friendly, of course it can damage nature and the surrounding environment. Take the example of the hydroplant case at San Rafael Waterfall, by not applying the concept of environmentally sound development causing a giant waterfall to stop flowing. Not only is the electricity supply for humans lost, but also the existence of the natural ecosystem of the waterfall is also threatened because of the loss of one of its abiotic elements.
Based on this incident, humans should be able to stop being greedy and start caring about nature and the environment. By implementing environmentally friendly development, nature will be able to continue to be sustainable. As is known that natural resources have an important role as a support of human life. Therefore, any development or utilization of nature needs the application of science and technology that does not damage the natural ecosystem.