The Riñihue lake became famous after an event known as the "Riñihuazo", which threatened to destroy several towns, villages and cities in southern Chile. During the Great Chilean Earthquake a landslide near the Tralcan Mount dammed the Riñihue Lake. As the water levels of Riñihue rose more than 20 meters, the dam was in danger of breaking and flooding everything downstream, including the city of Valdivia. There were plans for evacuating the city, and many people left the city. All this ended when a large team of workers was able to open a channel for drainage in the landslide. Then the water levels of the lake sunk slowly to its normal levels. There is evidence that a similar landslide and earthquake happened in 1575.