Worst Floods in 50 Years Hit Venice

Worst Floods in 50 Years Hit Venice
Rialto bridge during flood (acqua alta) in Venice, Italy, Photo Credit: Shutterstock

Government announces emergency as 85% of the city drowns, causing millions in damage

OT Staff
November 15 , 2019
02 Min Read

The government of Italy has announced an emergency in Venice, following the devastating floods this week (Tuesday and Wednesday) that have submerged 85% of the city. High tides (also called Acqua alta) powered by Southerly winds have caused hundreds of millions of euros worth of damage. This is the worst flood to hit the city in 50 years, recording water levels at 1.87 metres on late Tuesday. The only other flood to beat this number was that of 1966 when 1.94 metres were recorded. 

Several historical sites, including St. Mark’s Basilica, the Grand Canal, the Doge's Palace and St. Mark’s Square, were underwater on Tuesday and Wednesday. Many other properties- residential and otherwise- were also destroyed. Two casualties have been reported earlier today. To combat the worsening situation, a cabinet meeting has approved 20 million euros as immediate financial aid. 

Translation: Dramatic situation

Earlier this week, the Mayor of Venice Luigi Brugnaro took to Twitter, saying that the city is ‘on its knees’. He also said that the tides are a result of climate change. The city is rested on wooden piles sitting atop mud beds. However, a combination of rising sea levels and cruise traffic has caused the city to slowly sink in recent years. Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte added that the floods have been ‘a blow to the heart of the city’. 

Translation: #Venezia is on its knees. The Basilica of San Marco has suffered serious damage as did the entire city and the islands. We are here with Patriarch Moraglia to bring our support but we need the help of everyone to overcome these days that are putting us to the test.

While the floods have receded, many areas in the city are still sunken. A warning of further deluge has been issued, to be expected on Friday.  

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