Italy: Rare summer flooding in Venice

 

The famous PiazzaSan Marco in Venice was inundated in up to a metre of water overnight due to unusual summer floods.

 


In the fall and winter, the lagoon city is frequently affected by “acqua alta” (high water), and severe floods in November 2019 cost hundreds of millions of euros in damage.

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Couples in the Piazza danced to piano music almost knee deep in the water on Sunday night, while toddlers splashed and paddled and tourists waded in with their shoes in hand.

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High water occurrences in Venice are caused by a variety of reasons exacerbated by climate change, ranging from increasing sea levels and abnormally high tides to land subsidence, which has caused the city’s ground level to fall.

 

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Last October, a long-delayed flood barrier was finally triggered, but it is only engaged to stop the most potentially damaging tides of more than 130 cm (4 foot 3 inches), thus it was not in use on Sunday.

 

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