Residents of Ohrid, a touristic town in the southwest of the Republic of Macedonia, were shocked by view of the lake shores this week — a muddy beach covered in oil-like liquid replaced the once deep and clear waters of the oldest lake in Europe.
Lake Ohrid and the surrounding area is a UNESCO world heritage site and a biodiversity hotspot harboring more than 212 endemic species that exist in no place else on Earth. Due to its age scientists have also dubbed it a living evidence of evolution.
The citizen initiative OhridSOS, fighting against harmful urbanization on the lake shores, posted alarming photos of dry shores covered in an oily substance on February 13, 2017. This caused a strong discussion on social media in Macedonia. People demanded responsibility from the local and national authorities.