Venice lays under water as flooding hits second-highest level ever

Venice lays under water as flooding hits second-highest level ever

"Customers already in Venice should be kept updated on advice issued by local authorities, and any that are due to travel should be contacted to discuss if any changes are necessary to their travel itineraries as a result of the flooding".

The city's right-wing Mayor Luigi Brugnaro blamed the floods on climate change.

So far, two people have been found dead during the flood. Most of the water had receded by the afternoon, but residents are bracing themselves for more to come as forecasts predicted high tides of 1.20 metres late on Wednesday night and 1.30 metres on Thursday morning.

Since 2003, a massive infrastructure project has been underway to protect the city, but it has been plagued by cost overruns, scandals and delays.

Some tourists stood up to their knees in the water in St. Mark's square taking selfies.

Other tourists in Venice shared photos and videos on social media today showing people wading through the flooded streets. To mitigate this damage, the Italian government has been developing a series of barriers and floodgates known as the Mose Project since the 1980s. It doesn't work and they have stolen six billion euros.

Much of Italy has been pummelled by torrential rains in recent days, with wide spreading flooding, especially in the southern heel and toe of the country.

This year, however, Venice is looking particularly submerged and sad.

The luxury Gritti Palace hotel, a landmark of Venice which looks onto the Lagoon, was also flooded.

Is climate change behind Venice flooding?

This flood was compounded by heavy rains coinciding with a full moon that brought high tides that were pushed into Venice by southerly winds. The water was so high that nothing less than thigh-high boots afforded protection.

Most worryingly, Campostrini said, three of those five episodes occurred in the last 20 years, most recently in 2018.

Pedestrians used the raised pathways to avoid walking in water during high tide Tuesday.

Zaia also expressed concern for snowfalls in the mountains above Venice, where up to 120 centimeters (47 inches) was expected.

The weather patterns that have caused the Adriatic storm surge have been driven by a strong meridional (waving) jet stream across the northern hemisphere and this has fed a conveyor belt of low pressure systems into the central Mediterranean. If this happens, there is a greater likelihood that these events will combine with astronomical spring tides and hence increase the chance of flooding in Venice.

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