FLOOD-ravaged Venice has been pounded by a third huge tidal surge in less than a week.

Officials closed historic St. Mark’s Square and stacked sandbags against the Basilica to block salt-laden water from bursting in to the crypt again.

NINTCHDBPICT000540666299 - Venice flooding – City hit by THIRD massive tidal surge in less than a week as iconic St Mark’s Square closes
Tourists are seen in flooded St. Mark’s Square in Venice
EPA
NINTCHDBPICT000540652114 e1574033144684 - Venice flooding – City hit by THIRD massive tidal surge in less than a week as iconic St Mark’s Square closes
Venice suffered another exceptional high tide on Sunday, with the water peaking at 150 cm
Getty – Contributor
NINTCHDBPICT000540637293 - Venice flooding – City hit by THIRD massive tidal surge in less than a week as iconic St Mark’s Square closes
Residents try to ignore the flood and enjoy a card game in the water-filled street
Rex Features

Despite tourist shops and museums shutting their doors around the famous square, tourists donned knee-high rubber boots to wade through the flooded scene – and take plenty of selfies.

Sunday saw the water peak at nearly five feet (150cm), marking the worst week for the city since official tide statistics were produced in 1872.

But as hundreds of voluntary workers helped citizens cope with the emergency, residents living further from St Mark’s Square said they felt abandoned.

Suddenly a big wave burst in to the house and all the electricity went off.

Mario Scarpa, Pellestrina

Sky News reports that those living in Pellestrina island – the thin stretch of land which forms a barrier between the Venetian lagoon and the Adriatic Sea – say they are living in a nightmare.

Vincenzo Vianello, 90, said he feared a repeat of a massive flood in 1966 which swamped the whole island.

He said: “We lost the fridge and kitchen that time, and the same has happened again this time – everything in the  house was flooded, we had to throw everything again.”

Fellow resident Mario Scarpa said that in the middle of the night, “suddenly a big wave burst in to the house and all the electricity went off”.

He broke his foot in his desperation to save his kitchen and appliances from the deluge.

NINTCHDBPICT000540652007 e1574033341138 - Venice flooding – City hit by THIRD massive tidal surge in less than a week as iconic St Mark’s Square closes
A man with a giant mask stands close to Rialto bridge during an exceptionally high tide on November 17
Getty – Contributor
NINTCHDBPICT000540637252 - Venice flooding – City hit by THIRD massive tidal surge in less than a week as iconic St Mark’s Square closes
In normal conditions, tides of 80-90 cm are generally seen as high but manageable
Rex Features
NINTCHDBPICT000540651939 e1574033431226 - Venice flooding – City hit by THIRD massive tidal surge in less than a week as iconic St Mark’s Square closes
The city is beloved around the world for its canals, historic architecture and art
Getty – Contributor
NINTCHDBPICT000540637268 - Venice flooding – City hit by THIRD massive tidal surge in less than a week as iconic St Mark’s Square closes
Venice was hit on Sunday by a record third exceptional tide in the same week
Rex Features

In Venice’s tourist centre, many store owners in the swanky area around St. Mark’s emptied their shops.

Others tried to protect their wares by placing them as high as possible and used water pumping machines to clear out their shops.

In one luxury boutique, employees used water vacuums and big squeegee mops to keep the brackish lagoon waters from advancing.

Tides have risen above 140cm several times since Monday, including Tuesday’s high tide of 187cm (6.14ft).

CORRUPTION

In normal conditions, tides of 80-90 cm are seen as high but manageable.

Venice’s mayor has estimated that the flooding damage will run into hundreds of millions of Euros.

Italian officials have declared a state of emergency for the area.

They say Venice is both sinking into the mud and facing rising sea levels due to climate change.

It doesn’t help that the city’s Moses flood defence project is still not operational despite nearly two decades of construction.

The corruption-riddled underwater barrier system has sucked up at least 5 billion euros of public funding and was supposed to be working by 2011.

Why has Venice been flooding?

St Mark’s Square – Venice’s centrepiece – now floods more than 60 times annually.

This is up from four times a year in 1900.

Some researchers have warned that Venice will disappear by the year 2100, write oceanography experts Carl Amos and Georg Umgiesser in The Conversation.

They say that the increase in flooding is “due to the combined effects of land subsidence, causing the city to sink, and climate change causing the global sea level to rise.”

The city’s solution, Moses, an unfinished scheme of 78 storm gates, “is likely to cause damage to the ecological health of the surrounding lagoon, and could have no effect on Venice’s preservation”.

Venice is built on 118 small islands drained by a network of canals, and located within a tidal lagoon.

Its sea level has risen by a total of 26cm since 1870.

Plus the sea level is still increasing by 2.4mm a year, the experts say, damaging the city’s buildings with salt and damp.

They warn: “As a result, with a sea level rise of 50cm, the storm gates will need to close almost daily to protect the city from flooding.”

NINTCHDBPICT000540641735 - Venice flooding – City hit by THIRD massive tidal surge in less than a week as iconic St Mark’s Square closes
Tourists donned high rubber boots or even hip waders to witness and photograph the spectacle
EPA
NINTCHDBPICT000540637271 - Venice flooding – City hit by THIRD massive tidal surge in less than a week as iconic St Mark’s Square closes
The Venice sea level has risen by a total of 26cm since 1870
Rex Features
NINTCHDBPICT000540651840 e1574033661733 - Venice flooding – City hit by THIRD massive tidal surge in less than a week as iconic St Mark’s Square closes
Hundreds of voluntary workers have been helping people cope
Getty – Contributor
NINTCHDBPICT000540637260 - Venice flooding – City hit by THIRD massive tidal surge in less than a week as iconic St Mark’s Square closes
Some cafes and bakeries continued trading despite the deluge
Rex Features
NINTCHDBPICT000540652021 e1574033765450 - Venice flooding – City hit by THIRD massive tidal surge in less than a week as iconic St Mark’s Square closes
Stores and museums in Venice were mostly closed in the hardest-hit area around St. Mark’s Square
Getty – Contributor

 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *