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The village of Solotvyno is spread along the right bank of Tysa river. Its old name of Slatyna, which means “salt water”, is first mentioned in 1360 – the salt had already been extracted here at that time. Today it is a small inhabited area with not only dwelling houses and institutions in it but also the 7th, 8th and 9th mines working (the mines of 1-6 are closed down). Solotvyno stands on a large salt cupola. The salt is only 200-300 m deep under the ground. Few kilometers far from the modern mines and the village are situated the famous Solotvyno Lakes. It used to be a salt mine as well but the subsoil waters did their bit – since 1902 everything afloat started going under the ground and soon the area was filled with water. The same will happen to the existing mines, the geologists foresee. The serious problem is that they are located right under the village with the population of nine thousand of people. Last year, before the 8th mine being flooded, the asthmatic patients were cured there. Today they have to confine themselves to special rooms at the hospitals for allergy patients and to bathing in the lakes. What concerns the mines, it is not known if they could ever be reestablished. “The underground clinic at 9th mine was opened at the depth of 200 m in 1976, – tells Yaroslav Chonka, chief doctor of Solotvyno Ukrainian hospital for allergy patients. – The effect was incredible! It was hard to believe. The average temperature inside the mine is 22 C. The air is sterile 5-10 times more clean than in an operating room. And this produces the effect. In 2008 the 9th mine, in which more than 100 thousand people were cured, was flooded. Last year the same was about to happen with the 8th mine. It is closed today”.

Source: Magazine “Transcarpathia” № 2 summer/autumn 2010

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