Lutto Kututo: The Town The Earth Swallowed


Last March, deep cracks appeared in the Lutto Kututo town in Cusco and the entire village was destroyed.

Gregorio Abiega, a resident, told BBC news with tears in his eyes about the night he lost everything. “It was as if the Earth had broken”, he told the news.

He and other 105 families lost his house after the hill where the village stood sank and dragged the houses downhill.

Some of the cracks have a depth of 38 meters and the cause, according to the geologists of the Geophysical Institute of Peru (IGP), is a natural phenomenon called ‘soil creep’ that is generated by the filtration of rainwater in the clay and ‘highly fractured’ soil in the area.

Downhill creep, also known as soil creep is the slow downward progression of rock and soil down a low-grade slope. It can be caused by the expansion of materials such as clay when they are exposed to water. “Clay expands when wet, then contracts after drying. The expansion portion pushes downhill, then the contraction results in consolidation at the new offset”, explains Wikipedia.

(Cover Photo Facebook)

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Ermelinda is a journalist from Caracas, Venezuela. She has a Master’s degree in Digital Journalism and a technical degree in Veterinary Assistance she pursued because of her love for animals. She likes to do sports, but especially ballet, which she has practiced for almost 20 years. Her passion is to read, write, and blog about different topics, as well as travel whenever she can.