Magically unwatered: Venezuelan town flooded 30 years ago reemerges thanks to El Niño (PHOTOS,VIDEO)

© tachira.gob.ve
The Venezuelan town of Potosi had spent nearly three decades under water after it was deliberately flooded by the government to build a hydroelectric dam. Stunning photos show how the town has finally reemerged due to a drought, caused by the weather phenomenon El Niño.

Potosi, in the western state of Táchira, was once described as a "magical" place, an Andean paradise. It was home to some 1,200 people, who earned a living by working in the fields.

© tachira.gob.ve

Like many other small towns, it had a store, hospital, school, prefecture, square and church. Potosi was founded in the mid-19th century, explains Jose de la Cruz Garcia, a local historian.

© tachira.gob.ve

The locals were forced to leave their homes in 1984 when the government of the former president, Jaime Lusinchi, decided to build “Uribante Caparo,” a hydroelectric dam of great importance.

© tachira.gob.ve
© tachira.gob.ve
© tachira.gob.ve

The Potosi ruins, located 1,100 meters above sea level, have resurfaced due to the meteorological phenomenon of El Niño (a weather pattern marked by surface warming in the Pacific Ocean)

© tachira.gob.ve

The drought has also uncovered the remains of the church of San Isidro Labrador, standing to a height of 26 meters, and built in 1953.

© tachira.gob.ve
© tachira.gob.ve
© tachira.gob.ve
© tachira.gob.ve