In Venice, tourists and locals were surprised by the flood

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A flooded St.Mark's Square is pictured during a period of seasonal high water in Venice, Italy November 12, 2019. REUTERS / Manuel Silvestri SILVESTRI MANUAL / REUTERS

Posted today at 07:11, updated at 07:47

People walk on a podium set up for the "high tide" in Venice, Italy, on 12 November.
People walk on a podium set up for the "high tide" in Venice, Italy, on 12 November. LUCA BRUNO / AP

A tide of unprecedented magnitude in more than half a century fell on Tuesday, November 12, on Venice, surprising the tourists wading through the streets flooded while a powerful sirocco was breaking waves on the St. Mark's Square.

In the flooded St. Mark's Square.
In the flooded St. Mark's Square. SILVESTRI MANUAL / REUTERS
Tourists carry their luggage in the streets where the water level rose exceptionally on November 12.
Tourists carry their luggage in the streets where the water level rose exceptionally on November 12. LUCA BRUNO / AP

This acqua alta (high tide) 1.87 meter high, the highest level in fifty-three years, fell in the evening on the city of Doges, in the north-east of Italy, triggering sirens alarm . The phenomenon has made at least one death, according to Italian media: a 78-year-old Venetian electrocuted in his flooded home.

A rare event too, the vestibule (narthex) of St. Mark's Basilica, jewel of the Serenissima, was flooded on Tuesday. The procurator of the building, Pierpaolo Campostrini, organized watch tours in the night to monitor the rising waters.

The "acqua alta" often floods the lower parts of the city, including St. Mark's Square, and can be amplified by the sirocco, as was the case on the evening of Tuesday.
The "acqua alta" often floods the lower parts of the city, including St. Mark's Square, and can be amplified by the sirocco, as was the case on the evening of Tuesday. LUCA BRUNO / AP
Venice is regularly affected by the phenomenon of "acque alte", particularly pronounced tides that cause the submersion of a greater or lesser part of the island's urban area.
Venice is regularly affected by the phenomenon of "acque alte", particularly pronounced tides that cause the submersion of a greater or lesser part of the island's urban area. SILVESTRI MANUAL / REUTERS
This is the second highest tide recorded in Venice since the beginning of the surveys, in 1923, behind that of 1.94 meters observed on November 4, 1966.
This is the second highest tide recorded in Venice since the beginning of the surveys, in 1923, behind that of 1.94 meters observed on November 4, 1966. MARCO BERTORELLO / AFP
In the sumptuous Gritti Palace, where Ernest Hemingway, Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton descended, the waters flooded the bar and the velvet sofas and threatened tapestries and bound books.
In the sumptuous Gritti Palace, where Ernest Hemingway, Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton descended, the waters flooded the bar and the velvet sofas and threatened tapestries and bound books. MARCO BERTORELLO / AFP

Rising water flooded the cafe terraces, taking tables and chairs along the alleyways. As the footbridges of the historic hotels along the Grand Canal were swept by the waves as well, the customers of the water taxis were reduced to entering the establishments through the windows.

SILVESTRI MANUAL / REUTERS
MARCO BERTORELLO / AFP
MARCO BERTORELLO / AFP

To protect the city from this calamity, which alters its artistic heritage a little more each time, the MOSE project (acronym for electromechanical experimental module, and meaning Moses in Italian) has been under construction since 2003, but the extra cost and the poor workmanship have led to many delays. The project involves the installation of 78 floating dikes that would rise to close the lagoon in the event of a rise in the Adriatic Sea.

"Venice continues to be afflicted by exceptionally high water. Last year, this year it's the same thing »lamented Mayor Luigi Brugnaro. "We ask the government to participate and explain the organization of the MOSE, because we may soon not be able to cope", he added.



Source link
https://www.lemonde.fr/international/article/2019/11/13/a-venise-touristes-et-habitants-se-sont-fait-surprendre-par-l-inondation_6018957_3210.html

Dmca

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