Venice hit by worst flood in 50 years

Posted on 14 November 2019 By Anita Froneman

Venice is experiencing major flooding due to exceptionally high tides and strong winds. Tides in the popular Italian city rise annually between November and December, but this year’s levels have risen to the highest ever, except for in 1966 when levels reached almost 1.94 metres.

In the early hours of Wednesday morning, water in the canals reached the 1.87m level and the famous St Mark’s Square was submerged. Two deaths have been confirmed so far. The danger is not over yet, as weather forecasts predict high tides of 1.20m for Wednesday night and 1.30m on Thursday morning.


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The mayor of Venice, Luigi Brugnaro, said he would declare a state of emergency, adding that the flood levels represented a wound that would leave indelible marks. ‘We ask the government to help us. This is the result of climate change,’ he said, putting the damage in the hundreds of millions of euros, according to The Guardian.

Also read: Sea level rise a threat to Mediterranean UNESCO heritage sites

Originally built on soft ground, this ancient city is facing more structural challenges each year.

A project called MOSE (MOdulo Sperimentale Elettromeccanico), includes mobile gates meant to protect the city and lagoon from extreme tides. However, the project does not seem to be able to get off the ground due to cost overruns and charges of corruption.

Image: Instagram / a.churanov

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