Venice 80% underwater. Brugnaro: "A disaster". Zaia: "Apocalyptic devastation"


This time Venice risked to sink, under a high water that with the sirocco wind at 100 kilometers per hour touched the scary 190 centimeters threshold on the middle sea. The peak, at 22.50, was one meter and 87. It is the second measure in the history of the Serenissima, just behind the record of 194 centimeters in 1966. "A disaster" says the mayor Luigi Brugnaro, who invites the Venetians to stay in home and announces the request for a state of crisis. "It is a scenario of apocalyptic devastation," Veneto governor Luca Zaia tells Mattino Cinque, "80 percent of the city is under water, there are unimaginable damages."

The live video from Venice: the peak of the tide expected at 10.20

The damage in the city is serious. Gondolas and boats torn from the moorings and pushed to the shores, three sunken steamers, other boats adrift. There are also two victims on the island of Pellestrina, a 78-year-old man who was electrocuted, due to a short circuit, while the tide came into his house and a second inhabitant was found devoid of life at home.

VIDEO – Piazza San Marco lashed by stormy winds

On the cultural front, there is great concern for the Basilica of San Marco, whose damage will have to be assessed when the water is completely withdrawn. The crypt, the municipal police said, was completely submerged. At the time of the peak, one meter and 10 of water was measured in the Basilica. The entire historic center has been flooded, because on these levels there are no walkways or gates to hold. "Venice is on its knees. The Basilica of San Marco has suffered serious damage as the entire city and the islands. We are here with Patriarch Moraglia to bring our support but we need everyone's help to overcome these days that are putting us to the test, "the mayor wrote on Twitter.

The high water did not spare the La Fenice Theater. The structure of the theater has not been affected but the water has flooded the service areas, making the electrical and fire prevention systems unusable (it has been deactivated). The superintendent Fortunato Ortombina announced this to Ansa, who says "we are working to restore what is out of order, all the hydraulic pumps are working". The opening of the opera season is expected at La Fenice on November 24th with Giuseppe Verdi's Don Carlo. "Today we have suspended the tests – says Ortombina – but the challenge for La Fenice and even more for the city of Venice is to go on stage regularly with the first".

VIDEO – The sirens are still ringing: new tide coming

The water, with dense darkness and pouring rain, entered everywhere. The Venetians witnessed astonished, from the windows of the house, or connected to the web, to the lagoon that entered the streets, into the squares, took masegni and submerged everything. Three waterbuses sank while they were docked in Sant’Elena, gondolas detached from the moorings and pushed over Riva degli Schiavoni, while a fire was recorded in an electric cabin next to the Ca ’Pesaro museum.

The sudden rise started yesterday in the evening, when the forecasts – initially of one meter and 45 – were revised in a pejorative way by the Town's tidal center: 160 centimeters, then 170, then 180, in a run-up that left the technicians stunned and it seemed to never end. Up to 187 centimeters on the middle sea. A measure to let collapse in Venice. To change everything was the sirocco wind that, if yesterday morning it turned from the north east reaching the coasts of the Veneto, in the evening it became bad. The sirocco started to blow with gusts of up to 100 km / h, and swelled the lagoon. At 10pm Piazza San Marco was deserted and ghostly, submerged by almost a meter of water, the waves crashing on the columns of Palazzo Ducale, the Basilica of San Marco, defenseless before the attack of the sea. Venice then woke up waiting for another super-tide, close to the meter and 45, scheduled at 10.20. The same Maree Center was the victim of the storm, which damaged the telephone lines, and for this – he explains – it is not contactable, if not with the Telegram Centro Maree Informa channels, Centro Maree warns, and the website. The next maximum was first estimated at 155 centimeters, then at 160, and finally at 145. Venice could remain a "hostage" for exceptional high tides for days, water levels are expected to be high until Friday.

VIDEO – Via Garibaldi looks like a river in flood

"This is a disaster, this time the damage will have to be counted," said Mayor Luigi Brugnaro, while on the boat he carried out an inspection in the Marcian area, accompanied by the municipal police and Avm personnel. "We are facing a more than exceptional tide – Brugnaro added in a tweet – We are all mobilized to manage the emergency".

VIDEO – The streets are a pool: you walk with water on your knees

The damage will soon be counted, but the tide brings the 'case' Venice to the eyes of the world and also raises the theme of the Mose, the colossal system of mobile barriers against high water that is still waiting to be completed, and leaves Venice at the mercy of natural disasters like this. All schools in Venice and the islands remain closed. The mayor has announced that he will request a state of natural disaster for the city. The governor of Veneto, Luca Zaia, has activated the Civil Protection crisis unit. Serious repercussions on the entire lagoon are feared, while alarm conditions have been reported on the entire Veneto coast and, due to heavy rain, the situations of the rivers, in particular the Piave, are of concern. Today the head of civil protection, Angelo Borrelli, will arrive at the regional operations room in Marghera.

VIDEO – Mayor Brugnaro: "The government will give us a hand"

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