Friday, March 05, 2010

Drought in Potosi Reveals Sunken Town

There has been a serious drought in Potosi, Venezuela. Meteorologists have linked the lack of rain and the drought that followed to El Nino, or a warming of the waters in the Pacific Ocean. The normal weather patterns in the region were interrupted causing the lack of water. The drought has exposed the once submerged town of Potosi. In 1985, a hydro-electric dam was built, and the town was intentionally flooded. The 85 foot church in the town used to have its steeple used as the high water mark for the reservoir. Now, the water level fell 98 feet, revealing all of the church, houses, and even a cemetery. There is a problem: if the water level falls another 10 feet, the dam will no longer be able to produce electricity.
I saw a video about this story. People can now walk through parts of the town. One resident who had lived there 25 years ago said the sight saddened him because it only brought back old, sad memories.
You can check out the story (and see a picture of the falling water line on the church) at

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