This is Ropoto, a Greek village on the outskirts of North-Western area of Thessaly. It was once a vibrant little village with a complete community profile but due to a landslide in 2012, most of the little village is going downhill or has already slid down the hill slopes. It is strange to see all these village buildings standing extremely crooked as a result of this force of nature. As many as 300 Greek families were displaced from the area and since then, Ropoto has turned into an intriguing ghost town.
A 12-minute short documentary from GreekReporter.com shows us the story of the sad events. Local council member Yorgos Roubies guides visitors around the place and points out the ruins that supported life not more than three years ago. They included a school, a hotel, farmland and his own house which is now a ruin. He explained how the villagers kept draining the water away from the village into the nearby stream to keep the ground solid enough for habitation. In the previous year of the accident, they didn’t have enough machines to drain it effectively, probably something to do with the Greece’s financial woes and that’s how the excess water washed away swathes of land. It is quite a spectacle for us to see, but for the poor people to see their homes just sliding away must have been a bitter pill to swallow.
But he also told the film makers that even though the incident happened recently, signs of the eventual landslide had been there since the 1960s and that’s why they had to drain the water now and then. That is when the first cracks began to appear around the area, and the villagers were asked to leave it. But, local politicians did what they always do; deny the reality and ridicule science. They even built a hotel to accommodate tourists around the area during that time frame and here is the stricken building.
Roubies also claims that nobody from the government has come forward to help the victims who have lost their homes and belongings during the exhibition of the force of nature. Many of them are still supposed to pay property taxes even when none of the buildings are inhabitable anymore. The village no longer exists, and all the fields and fruit trees are gone as well. It was all down to a poor judgment that the water couldn’t create havoc so soon. Roubies is leading a campaign for the welfare of the local populace in the region. Since the last slide, the soil has sunk by more than 15 centimeters. Check out the video for more details: