Venice flooded by highest tide in 50 years
November 13, 2019 - Venice has declared a state of emergency after the city was hit by the highest tide in over 50 years.
The water reached 1.87 metres above sea level Tuesday, the second-highest level ever recorded in the city and just 7 centimetres lower than the historic 1966 flood.
One death was blamed on the flooding, on the barrier island of Pellestrina. A man in his 70s was apparently electrocuted when he tried to start a pump in his dwelling.
In Venice, the crypt beneath St. Mark’s Basilica was inundated for only the second time in its history, as water entered through the windows and past all protections.
Damage was also reported at the Ca’ Pesaro modern art gallery, where a short circuit set off a fire, and at La Fenice theater, where authorities turned off electricity as a precaution after the control room was flooded.
The flooding was caused by heavy rains coinciding with a full moon that brought high tides that were pushed into Venice by southerly winds. At the same time, rising sea levels because of climate change make the city built amid a system of canals even more vulnerable.
Venice Mayor Luigi Brugnaro blamed climate change for the “dramatic situation” and called for a speedy completion of a long-delayed project to construct offshore barriers.
Called “Moses,” the moveable undersea barriers are meant to limit flooding. But the project, which was opposed by environmentalists concerned about damaging the delicate lagoon eco-system, has been delayed by cost overruns and corruption scandals, with no launch date in site.
- Venice ‘On Its Knees’ After Second-Worst Flooding Ever Recorded (AP)
- Venice devastated by second highest tide in history (Reuters)
- Venice floods: Climate change behind highest tide in 50 years, says mayor (BBC)
- Le percentuali di allagamento (Città di Venezia)
- Two reported dead as Venice flooded by highest tide in 50 year (THe Guardian)