Sunken village in Venezuela re-emerges after decades underwater

Click to play video: 'Venezuelan drought uncovers sunken village lost for decades' Venezuelan drought uncovers sunken village lost for decades
WATCH ABOVE: A village in Venezuela that was flooded more than 30 years ago has resurfaced following a devastating drought in that country – Jun 20, 2016

For decades, the only sign of the Venezuelan drowned village of Potosi has been a church spire sticking up in a lake.

But as a severe drought dried out Venezuela this year, the town on the South American country’s eastern edge began to re-emerge inch by inch.

Today, cows graze in the muddy grass below the 26 metre-high facade of the stone church, and tourists and former residents are returning to see what is left of the village.

The 1,000 person mountain town of Potosi was flooded in 1984 to help fuel a dam project.

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Locals said the government tried to blow up the San Isidro Chapel back then to make way for the project, but it remained standing.

The now greenish structure was once a gleaming white building in the centre of the town square, as seen in archival photos posted by the regional government this spring.

Some of the former residents returned this month to see what memories the ruins of the town would stir up.

As the rainy season begins, the water level will again rise in Potosi and soon the remains of the shops and homes, and most of the church, will again lie like sunken ships below the surface of the water.

General view of the ruins of Potosi, a town inundated over 30 years ago when a hydroelectric plant was built in Tachira state in western Venezuela, pictured June 4, 2016.Due to the drought caused by the El Niño climate phenomenon, the ruins of Potosi, a village nestled in the Venezuelan Andes, reemerged after more than 30 years under water. / AFP / GEORGE CASTELLANOS (Photo credit should read GEORGE CASTELLANOS/AFP/Getty Images).

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