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Venice hit by another ferocious high tide, flooding city

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Venice hit by another ferocious high tide, flooding city

By Riccardo Bastianello, Emily G Roe

 

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A general view of the flooded St. Mark's Square, as high tide reaches peak, in Venice, Italy November 15, 2019. REUTERS/Flavio Lo Scalzo

 

VENICE (Reuters) - Venice was inundated by exceptionally high water levels on Friday just days after the lagoon city suffered the worst flood in more than 50 years.

 

The central St. Mark’s Square was submerged and closed to tourists, while shops and hotels were once more invaded by rising waters bringing fresh misery to the fragile city.

 

Local authorities said the high tide peaked at 154 cm (5.05 ft), slightly below expectations and significantly lower than the 187 cm level reached on Tuesday — the second highest tide ever recorded in Venice.

 

But it was still enough to leave 70% of the city under water, fraying the nerves of locals who faced yet another large-scale clean-up operation.

 

“We have been in this emergency for days and we just can’t put up with any more,” said Venetian resident Nava Naccara.

 

The Italian government declared a state of emergency for Venice on Thursday, allocating 20 million euros ($22 million) to address the immediate damage. Mayor Luigi Brugnaro predicted on Friday the costs would be vastly higher.

 

“Venice was destroyed the other day. We are talking about damage totaling a billion euros,” Brugnaro said in a video posted on Twitter. “This is a state of emergency, but we are managing it.”

 

Sirens wailed across Venice from the early morning hours, warning of the impending high tide, and the crypt beneath St. Mark’s Basilica was swiftly inundated.

 

After Friday’s high waters, forecasters predicted tides of up to 110-120 cm during the weekend. In normal conditions, tides of 80-90cm are generally seen as high but manageable.

 

The mayor has blamed climate change for the ever-increasing flood waters that the city has had to deal with in recent years, with the mean sea level estimated to be more than 20 cm higher than it was a century ago, and set to raise much further.

 

Groups of volunteers and students arrived in the city center to help businesses mop up, while schools remained closed, as they have been most of the week.

 

At the city’s internationally renowned bookshop Acqua Alta — the Italian for high water — staff were trying to dry out thousands of water-damaged books and prints, usually kept in boats, bath tubs and plastic bins.

 

“The only thing we were able to do was to raise the books as much as possible but unfortunately even that wasn’t enough ... about half of the bookshop was completely flooded,” said Oriana, who works in the store.

 

A flood barrier designed to protect Venice from high tides is not expected to start working until the end of 2021, with the project plagued by the sort of problems that have come to characterize major Italian infrastructure programs — corruption, cost overruns and prolonged delays.

 

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-- © Copyright Reuters 2019-11-15

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It seems that the city is sinking!
Goodbye Venice, R.I.P.!

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Sad story. And it is Salt Water what makes the damage worse. 

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15 hours ago, snoop1130 said:

The mayor has blamed climate change for the ever-increasing flood waters that the city has had to deal with in recent years

yeah  nothing at  all to do with what and where its  built on  eh..............otherwise might  not  get so  much funding

  • Sad 1

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2 hours ago, 30la said:

It seems that the city is sinking!
Goodbye Venice, R.I.P.!

Nah the new Atlantis... make a great dive site!

  • Haha 2

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When for centuries you do not do anything to protect the old city... shortsighted Italians as always..

Look to the Netherlands: 40% of the country BELOW sea level, .. even a complete city can be built at minus 6 mtr. Why not to protect Venice ?

https://hotspotholland.nl/en/252/lowest-point-in-the-netherlands 

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