A blogger went on a surreal journey to Yungay, a Peruvian town that, in 1970, tragically disappeared. An 8.0 earthquake obliterated the town and wiped out its 25,000 residents in the process. What Emily Bloor found during her time there was nothing short of chilling.
Bloor, from Luxury Backpack, couldn’t believe what she saw during her time in Yungay. “I was completely heartbroken wandering around the mass graveyard that is all that remains of the town,” she said.
“The only things that remain are four palm trees, which stand out above the meter-deep rubble; the church steeple; a bus, twisted into the ground; and the cemetery, which still watches over the town as it had back on that day in 1970.”
On that fateful day in 1970, the locals were simply enjoying a World Cup game, when the earthquake crept up on Yungay and tons of ice and rock came crashing down on the town. “Today the old site of Yungay remains a place to remember those who lost their lives,” Bloor said.
“It is now just a part of the Peruvian highlands, and anyone who didn’t know would never guess that an entire civilization was below the ground…Yungay isn’t very well known, even by Peru’s backpackers, so I really didn’t know much about it when I decided to visit,” she said.
“When we arrived at the former town, now a peaceful stretch of wild meadow, the lack of information became even more surprising. How does such a huge and devastating event slip under the radar?”
What remains where Yungay once stood is simply an area filled with palm trees and wildflowers. No one lives here anymore. However, locals who live close by are aware of a catastrophe that occurred all those years ago and often come to Yungay to pay respect.
“When walking around, I tried to comprehend the reality of a bustling town and all its residents under my feet – but couldn’t quite come to terms with it,” she said. “Because not only is Yungay now a site of significant geographical change, it’s also a mass grave.”