In 2012, a landslide swept through the Greek city of Ropoto. While some of the buildings still stood, the foundations were destroyed, leaving the entire town at risk of sinking down a mountainside slope. All 300 citizens had no choice but to leave, abandoning the town as it slowly slid away.
A new 12-minute documentary by Greek Reporter, and unearthed by Elle Decor, takes a tour of the ghost town. The video follows Yorgos Roubies, who grew up in the village, and later served as the town's council president, as he returns to Ropoto.
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"We had been expecting this since the sixties when the first land-cracks appeared," Roubies told GreekReporter.com. The geological warning signs were ignored, though, and building continued for over 20 years. In the video, Roubies says that "everyone was getting building permits," even in the center of town, which should have been off limits due to the cracks in the earth.
Roubies explains how in 2011, the village's stop-gap measure of pushing rainwater out to the surrounding stream failed and the excess water combined with the groundwater. That eventually caused the massive landslide in 2012, which irreparably damaged the town. The video shows a destroyed school, crumbling church, abandoned hotel, and the apple orchards, which one dotted the hills, now barren.
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In the wake of the landslide, the townspeople had no choice but to leave their homes. In the video, Roubies describes being "dragged from his house" by the fire department.
Due to the continuing geological changes (according to Roubies, the land has sunk almost a foot since 2012) and the economic crisis, the Greek government has no plans to restore the once thriving town.
Watch the video below for a haunting look at the now deserted city: