Sunken village re-emerges during intense drought
Tuesday, June 21, 2016, 21:40 GMT - A severe drought, blamed on El Nino, has resurfaced an eerie piece of Venezuela's past.
The village of Potosi, in the country's northwest near Lake Maracaibo, was submerged in 1984 beneath the waters of a reservoir created for a hydro-electric dam, its thousand or so inhabitants moving elsewhere.
For decades, all that remained was its church spire, poking out of the lake waters ... until 2010, when the lake waters first receded due to drought. This year, drought once again caused water levels to drop, revealing the church, and the ruins of what was once a bustling village.
While many homes were demolished before the reservoir began to be filled, no such fate was in store for the church.
"They also attempted to demolish the structure of the church with explosives, but it didn't collapse. From then on, it was decided to flood the area and leave the structure as it stood," Herald Castellanos, manager of a nearby museum, told the Telegraph.
Since its latest reemergence, there's been a fair bit of interest from former residents visiting their former abode. There's even a healthy carpet of grass in what was once the reservoir's bed, useful grazing for nearby ranchers.
"I came here to the church, and saw where it was that my uncle lived," Benilde Mora, a former resident visiting the site told The Telegraph. "He had a small grocery store. I liked going there because he would give us candy."
Global News reports that the rainy season is expected to get into gear soon, submerging the church once again.
Whether caused by El Nino or not, droughts do occasionally turn up pieces of the sometimes forgotten past.
Falling reservoir levels in the Mexican state of Chiapas revealed a 16th Century church that vanished beneath the waters in 1966.
And closer to home, beach erosion in San Diego, California, hastened by El Nino helped uncover the wreck of the SS Monte Carlo, a notorious Prohibition-era 'sin ship' that sank in the 1930s.Twitter