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We inhabit times wherein breathing toxic air, experiencing sudden rains, and witnessing a sharp increase in temperatures has become 'normal'. These are some of the many consequences of our deteriorating climate conditions.
Despite all the planning done to control its long-term effect, cities like Venice continue to record high tides and heavy flooding.
Famously called the lagoon city, Venice flooded again last month after strong winds propelled sea levels to rise drastically. The situation worsened in the city’s St. Mark’s Square after authorities failed to activate the new tried and tested anti-flooding system, Mose.
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The billion-euro Mose project was first designed in 1984 and had to pass through delays, corruption, and cost overruns before finally getting approved for construction in 2003.
Part of the project is a steel wall with 78 yellow flood gates. It is inflatable, moveable, and designed to protect the Venetian lagoon from 10 feet (three meters) high tides. Introduced last October, the authorities were optimistic about its role in future floods. However, with the December disaster, they have realised that for the system to function and prevent high tides, it is required to be activated at least 48 hours before water levels start rising in the sea.
The flood severely affected the businesses and shops in the city which already incurred losses due to the COVID-19 pandemic and lockdown restrictions put on the tourism industry.
Venice is facing rising sea levels, high tides, and sinking of ground levels of the city, all indicating the elephant in the room – climate change.
In November 2019, Venice observed its worst floods in the last 50 years as the water levels rose to six feet in the city.
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