In 2016, Venice was ranked as the most beautiful city in the world. Also known as the Floating City, The City of Water and The City of Canals, bella Venezia attracts an insane number of tourists from around the world.
The region of Veneto, whose capital and most populous city is Venice, is not new to high tides and floods.
In fact, the Italian phrase Acqua Alta (or high water) is often used to allude to the extreme high tides that occur periodically in the northern Adriatic Sea, due to storm surges or excessive rains. The peaks reach maximum altitude in the Venetian Lagoon, and cause major flooding in Venice.
The usual trend of the flood waters is to flow right into Venice’s Grand Canal. However, in case of exceptionally high sea levels, it might go in reverse. The water from the lagoon runs into the St Mark’s Square.
As of now, Italy has been experiencing severe flooding in several parts of the country, along with heavy winds. Venice has been inundated with extreme flooding, landing three-quarters of the city under water.
Locals and tourists have been sharing pictures and videos of a flooded Venice, as they waddle in knee deep water and struggle to walk its streets. Here’s a picture of Venice’s most important location and one of the most visited tourist spots in the world, Piazza San Marco.
— John Richards (@GoodnightWalter) October 29, 2018
The Guardian reported that Monday witnessed strong winds in Venice, which raised the water level to more than 5 feet, rendering even the eleavted walkways useless.
— Iain Reid (@beanotownphoto) October 29, 2018
Almost three to four times a year, Venice experiences high tides that reach approximately 3.5ft. However, it got a little out of hand on Monday, with the 5 ft high tide levels.
— Robert Johnson🦅🦅🦅 (@cpfc_Rob) October 29, 2018
There’s a possibility being expressed that flooding this week could reach the levels of floods that Italy last experienced some 22 years ago, when the Arno river flooded the city of Florence, killing hundred people and destroying millions of rare artworks and books.
— Dimitriy K (@dixkom) October 29, 2018
Usually, the city is well equipped with metallic barricades outside shops and hotels to prevent flood waters from getting inside. However, this time, even they have been rendered ineffective.
— Igor Petricevic (@igor_petricevic) October 29, 2018
Shopkeepers were seen dispelling flood waters from their shops using buckets and water pumps. Water taxi ports have also submerged in water, with tourists stranded for local transport.
— Oliver Harbord (@ojharbord) October 29, 2018
Several major tourist spots across Italy, including the Colosseum in Rome, have been reportedly shut down because of heavy rains and winds in the country.
The climate has triggered a flood alert across the country, thereby ensuring schools remain shut for the last two days.
That thing where the water taxi reaches the land and you’re still in the water. Venice’s worst floods since 1966. Climate change is real (and so are my drenched knees) pic.twitter.com/408ojVKR6y
— Jonathan Lis (@jonlis1) October 29, 2018
— Neil Maiden (@NeilMaiden) October 28, 2018
Cities like Venice sinking have always been one of the many humongous and possibly inevitable effects of climate change widely suggested. Looking at the current situation, it sure seems like the much dreaded event could be a real possibility.