Yesterday morning, the tide had reached a height of 122cm following heavy downpours and high winds. The unsettled weather came unexpectedly for officials who did not have time to engage the newly introduced flood barriers to prevent flooding.
The flood barriers require 48-hours to be activated and protect the city from tides of up to 3 metres (10 ft).
The Mose barriers work with sea levels of over 130cm, but the last few days the forecast had predicted sea levels to rise up to 120cm.
Dramatic images of the flooding show people wading through knee-high water near the famous St Mark’s Square.
Carlo Alberto Tessein, procurator of St Mark’s Basilica, labelled the flooding as “terrible”.
He said: “The situation is terrible, we are under water.”
Mr Tessein warned the flood water, which had got inside the basilica, posed a threat to the historic interior of the building.
Venice’s mayor, Luigi Brugnaro, gave an update on Twitter, confirming the Mose gates had not been enabled.
He wrote: “3.10pm… Now I’m at the Centro Maree to follow the development of the situation.
He compared the flood to “a wound that will leave a permanent mark.”
He added: “The situation is dramatic. We ask the Government to help us. The cost will be high. This is the result of climate change.”
Mr Conte paid a visit to the city to see the the damages of a flooding that claimed the lives of two people.
He said: “The situation is dramatic… the people are suffering.”
Mr Conte declared a state of emergency and destined €20 million ($22 million) toward the recovery of the city.
Published at Wed, 09 Dec 2020 02:35:36 +0000