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 Exceptional floods leave more than half of Venice under water

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PostSubject: Exceptional floods leave more than half of Venice under water   Sat Nov 03, 2012 2:56 pm

Exceptional floods leave more than half of Venice under water





Posted on November 3, 2012





November 3, 2012 VENICE, ItalyVenice
has been hit by its highest winter floods in two years with water
rising to 140cm (56in) above sea level and meteorologists are warning
that heavier flooding will be the rule rather than the exception in the
coming years. About half of the city is currently underwater. Tourists
have had to wade through flooded parts of the city in Wellington boots
and cross the landmark St. Mark’s Square via wooden walkways after days
of torrential rain. The square was said to be under 60cm of water. The
phenomenon, known as “acqua alt” or “high water” is common in Venice at
this time of year but levels are higher than last winter and experts say
things will get worse in the future. The city experienced its worst
flooding in decades only four years ago when 160cm of floodwater was
recorded. Italian news agency Ansa classified the situation as
“exceptional,” with shops, basements and buildings flooded. While the
canal city is used to high waters, they are putting its fragile
infrastructure under heavy stress. The administration has put in place a
system of moveable barriers, the Mose, which will rise from the seabed
to protect Venice from high tides. The system will not be operational
before 2014, however. “Italy is currently under a nationwide rainstorm
and autumn marks the beginning of the high-water season, which has been
particularly severe this year,” reported Gazzetta del Sud online. “The
causes are both natural and man-made. Decades of pumping groundwater
caused significant damage to the delicate foundations before the
practice was called off.” Weather experts say the high-water threat has
been increasing in recent years as heavier rains have hit northern
Italy. –Telegraph




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