Las Nieves: The Spanish Campground Struck By a Devastating Flood

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Image: Nacho Labrador

The old swimming pool

Just before 7pm, on August 7, 1996, everything seemed normal at the Las Nieves campground in Biescas, a village in the Spanish Pyrenees. Campers were huddled in their tents and caravans waiting for the summer storm to subside. Yet, within ten minutes, all hell had broken loose. The ravine had turned into a raging torrent filled with rocks and uprooted trees, sweeping away tents, overturning vehicles, and washing whole families away. Tragedy struck, and in its wake was left a trail of death and destruction — to which the abandoned scenes in this article stand in silent testament.


Image: Nacho Labrador

The old water pump, now dry

Sometimes, disaster strikes when one least expects it. Not that anyone is ever truly prepared for mishap — much less catastrophe — but certain situations or places might give you cause to be wary — a dark alley in a dangerous part of town, for instance. When you’re on vacation, nothing could be further from your mind. Ultimately, all you’re expecting is a few days of relaxation.

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Image: Nacho Labrador

Biescas is a picturesque town in the community of Aragon in northeast Spain, not far from the French border in the Aragonese Pyrenees. Zaragoza (or Saragossa), the capital of Aragon, is about a two-hour-drive away; Barcelona about four-and-a-half. The scenic landscape of Biescas is hardly one you’d immediately associate with tragedy.

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