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Image: Boats of fishermen are seen on the dried Poopo lakebed in the Oruro Department, south of La Paz

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Bolivia's Second Largest Lake Dries Up Entirely

The water level at Poopo Lake began going down decades ago, and eventually the whole lake disappeared.

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Image: Marks of car tires are seen on the dried Poopo lakebed in the Oruro Department, south of La Paz, Bolivia

Car tires left marks on the dried Poopo lakebed in Oruro, south of La Paz, Bolivia on Dec. 17, 2015. Lake Poopo in Bolivia was the Andean nation's formerly second largest after the famous Titicaca. Bolivian lawmakers declared the lake a "disaster area" in late 2014.

David Mercado / Reuters
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Image: Fisherman Rene Valero, from the Urus ethnic group, is seen on his boat on the dried Poopo lakebed in the Oruro Department, south of La Paz, Bolivia

Fisherman Rene Valero, from the Urus ethnic group, stands on his boat on the dried Poopo lakebed in Oruro on Dec. 17, 2015. “There should be some rain. But that's not happening,” he told Reuters reporter David Mercado.

David Mercado / Reuters
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Image: Fisherman Rene Valero, from the Urus ethnic group, is seen at the dried Poopo lakebed in the Oruro Department, south of La Paz, Bolivia

Rene Valero stands at the dried Poopo lakebed in Oruro on Dec. 17, 2015. With the water gone, animals have died in the millions, according to studies. And the local people who were depending on the water for livelihood have been forced to migrate.

David Mercado / Reuters
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Image: A fisherman holds a fish taken from dried Poopo lakebed in the Oruro Department, south of La Paz

A fisherman holds a fish carcass taken from the dried Poopo lakebed in Oruro.  

David Mercado / Reuters
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Image: The carcass of a bird is seen on the dried Poopo lakebed in the Oruro Department, south of La Paz, Bolivia

The carcass of a bird lies on the Poopo lakebed. According to Milton Perez, a professor at the Oruro Technical University, the cycles of El Niño and La Niña don’t allow enough time for the lake to recover and exacerbate the conditions. 

David Mercado / Reuters
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Image: A fish carcass trapped in the dried Poopo lakebed is seen in the Oruro Department, south of La Paz, Bolivia

A fish carcass is trapped in the Poopo lakebed.

David Mercado / Reuters
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Image: Boats of fishermen are seen on the dried Poopo lakebed in the Oruro Department, south of La Paz

Boats are left idle on the lakebed.

David Mercado / Reuters
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