The church that resurfaced

By Guido Trombetta on 12:08 PM , , ,
The image of a church emerging from the water just with the bell tower is quite distinguishing indeed, but it's not so rare, there are at least half a dozen example in the world (and a wonderful one, I've already spoken about, is in Italy) and the story behind it's more or less always the same: a dam built for hydroelectric purposes causing an entire village to be submerged. The bell tower, which often is the highest spot of a village remains as a picturesque recall (of economic interests overwhelming people's interests).


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This time however, even if the first part of the story is just the same, there is an unexpected (and somehow worrying) turn in the plot. The church has resurfaced!
It's in Venezuela and the cause is a severe drought which is hitting the nation, exposing a church, pictured in 2008 (left) and on February 21, 2010.


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The 82-foot-tall (25-meter-tall) church and the Andean town of Potosi were flooded in 1985 to establish the Uribante-Caparo water reservoir to power the plant, which is currently operating at just 7 percent of its capacity.



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The church is now an ominous symbol of energy shortages in the country, which gets around 68 percent of its power from hydroelectricity. The droughts spurred Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez to declare an energy emergency in February.



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In a little over a year, the Venezuelan church went from almost fully submerged to bone dry.

The drought that caused the rapid decline has been linked to El Niño, a climate phenomenon that occurs every two to seven years and changes worldwide weather patterns. During an El Niño event—such as the current one, which began in summer 2009—the Pacific Ocean warms up near equatorial South America and disrupts large-scale atmospheric circulation.



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Comments

1 Response to 'The church that resurfaced'

  1. The GeoMessenger
    http://seawayblog.blogspot.com/2010/03/church-that-resurfaced.html?showComment=1279065389842#c7219853647379217418'> July 14, 2010 at 1:56 AM

    Stunning to look at :)