Geamana - the village erased from the map

Geamana was until 1978 a rich flourishing village in the Apuseni Carpathian mountains. Now, it doesn't even exist on Romania's map. The beginning of the end was the discovery of the biggest copper reserves in Romania and the second large in Europe. Ceausescu, Romania's communist leader from that period, ordered by decree the building of a huge lake to deposit the sterile compounds that resulted from the exploitation. The valley where Geamana village existed was filled with water and the people moved to nearby villages. The ones that didn't want to leave still live there in isolation, without shop, church, school or medical care. They can find all these over the hill, in Geamana's twin village, Lupsa. Primary school children walk the 7 km distance twice every day. The priest comes to Geamana on holy days and when somebody dies. But the main problem of these people is the sterile lake that is growing every year, poisoning their wells, their gardens with toxic compounds left over from the copper extraction process and threatening to enter their houses.