Published: Thu, November 14, 2019
Global News | By Blake Casey

Venice: Underwater From Rising Waters

Venice: Underwater From Rising Waters

Venice's mayor has called the city a disaster zone after the second-highest tide ever recorded swept through it overnight, flooding its famous basilica and leaving many squares and alleyways deep under water.

"Despite 5 billion euros under water, St. Mark's Square certainly wouldn't be secure, " Zaia said, referring to one of Venice's lowest points, which floods when there is an inundation of 80 centimeters (2.6 feet).

The worst flooding to hit Venice in more than 50 years has brought the historic city to its knees, its mayor said on Wednesday.

Officials said a second exceptional high of 160cm was recorded at midmorning Wednesday (local time), but was quickly receding.

A flooded embankment by the Hotel Rialto and taxi boats on the Grand Canal channel after an exceptional overnight "Alta Acqua" high tide water level, on 13 November, 2019 in Venice.

In a video posted on Twitter, Brugnaro attributed the heightened flooding largely to climate change.

A couple from Cornwall have been caught in severe flooding in Venice.

Andrea Di Masi, deputy director of the luxury hotel Baglioni, said furniture, carpets and pottery were removed from the ground floor on Tuesday as high-tide warnings had been issued.

Areas which have been badly affected include St Mark's Square, a popular destination with tourist visiting Venice.

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Furthermore, the meridional jet stream can be linked back to stronger typhoons in the north-west Pacific resulting in more frequent cold outbreaks in North America and an unsettled Mediterranean is another one of the downstream effects.

A popular cruise destination and one of the most lovely cities in the world, much of Venice has been left underwater, with the floods speculated to leave a permanent mark on the floating metropolis.

Francesco Moraglia, the Patriarch of St Mark's Basilica Monsignor, also told reporters: "I have never seen something like what I saw yesterday afternoon [Tuesday] at St. Mark's square". The only time the level has been higher was in 1966, when it reached 76 inches.

A stranded ferry boat lies on its side, in Venice, Wednesday, Nov. 13, 2019.

Venice's mayor blamed climate change for the "dramatic situation" and called for a speedy completion of a long-delayed project to construct off-shore barriers.

Italy was hit by heavy rainfall on Tuesday, with more wet weather forecast this week.

The flooding was caused southerly winds that pushed a high tide, exacerbated a full moon, into the historic city. In our changing climate, sea levels are rising and a city such as Venice, which is also sinking, is particularly susceptible to such changes.

A massive infrastructure project to build a series of 78 floating gates to defend the city during such high tides has been plagued by cost overruns and delays.

BBC meteorologist Nikki Berry said that although this acqua alta event is the worst in 50 years, five of the top ten worst tides have occurred in the past two decades.

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