Home » » Guaíra Falls

Guaíra Falls

Guaíra Falls (Spanish: Saltos del Guairá, Portuguese: Salto das Sete Quedas do Guaíra) were a series of immense waterfalls on the Paraná River along the border between Brazil and Paraguay. The falls no longer exist, inundated in 1982 by the impoundment of the Itaipu Dam reservoir. While published figures vary, ranging from 470,000 cubic feet (13,000 m3) per second to 1,750,000 cubic feet (50,000 m3) per second, Guaíra's flow rate was among the greatest of any falls on earth.

The falls comprised 18 cataracts clustered in seven groups - hence their Portuguese name, Sete Quedas (Seven Falls) - near the Brazilian municipality of Guaíra and Salto de Guairá, the easternmost city in Paraguay. The falls were located at a point where the Paraná River was forced through a narrow gorge. At the head of the falls, the river narrowed sharply from a width of about 1,250 feet (380 m) to 200 feet (61 m). The total height of the falls was approximately 375 feet (114 m), while the largest individual cataract was 130 feet (40 m) high. The roar of the plunging water could be heard from 20 miles away.


A tourist attraction and a favorite of locals, the falls were completely submerged under the artificial lake created by the Itaipu Dam, linchpin of the world's largest hydroelectric project to date upon its completion in 1982. The building of the dam, authorized by a 1973 bilateral agreement between Brazil and Paraguay, marked a new era of cooperation between the countries, both of which had claimed ownership of Guaíra Falls as its own.

As construction of the Itaipu Dam progressed, thousands of visitors flocked to the area to see the falls before they disappeared forever. Disaster struck on January 17, 1982, when a suspended footbridge affording access to a particularly spectacular view of the falls collapsed, killing 80 people.

Brazilian poet Carlos Drummond de Andrade wrote a poem expressing his dismay at the destruction of Guaíra Falls. Set in large type, the poem filled an entire page in the Jornal do Brasil newspaper:

    Here seven visions, seven liquid sculptures
    vanished through the computerized calculations
    of a country ceasing to be human
    in order to become a chilly corporation, nothing more.
    A movement becomes a dam.

    Carlos Drummond de Andrade, "Farewell to Seven Falls" (excerpt, translated from the Portuguese)

Earlier, as the waters began to rise, a demonstration took place, as hundreds of people gathered to participate in a guarup, an indigenous ritual in memory of the falls. The inundation took only 14 days, occurring during the rainy season when the level of the Paraná River was high. By October 27, 1982, the reservoir was fully formed and the falls had vanished. The Brazilian government later dynamited the submerged rock face of the falls, to promote safer navigation on the river.

The director of the company that built the dam was quoted as saying, "We're not destroying Seven Falls. We're just going to transfer it to Itaipu Dam, whose spillway will be a substitute for [the falls'] beauty".

Related Post



ShoutMix chat widget
Guest Book

Subscribe Via Email

Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner

My Blog




[Valid Atom 1.0]
Google PageRank Checker Powered by  MyPagerank.Net

Powered by FeedBurner

SEO Stats powered by MyPagerank.Net




Welcome To My Blog

I hope you find what you're looking for here . . Thank you for visit to my simple blog . .

Rizky Maulana

This life is a sacrifice and struggle . . and I am just a man who wants to be better than ever . .