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Rising tide is a mystery sinking island hopes

Steadily, mysteriously, like in an especially slow science fiction movie, the largest lake in the Caribbean has been rising and rising, devouring tens of thousands of acres of farmland, ranches and whatever else stands in its way.

The lake in question is Lago Enriquillo in the Dominican Republic.

Lago Enriquillo has swallowed a banana grove, swamped yuca and mango trees, and in the low-lying city of Boca de Cachon, the lake threatens to subsume the entire town.

Theories abound, but a conclusive answer remains elusive as to why the lake — as well as its nearby sibling in Haiti, Lac Azuei, which now spills over the border between the two on the island of Hispaniola — has risen so much. Researchers say the surge may have few if any precedents worldwide.

“There are no records, to the best of our knowledge, of such sudden growth of lakes of similar size,” Jorge E. Gonzalez, a City College of New York engineering professor who is helping to lead a consortium of scientists from the United States and the Dominican Republic studying the phenomenon, told the New York Times.

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