|Italy: Venice ‘on its knees’ after second-worst flood ever recorded|
The worst flooding in Venice in more than 50 years prompted calls Wednesday to better protect the historic city from rising sea levels as officials calculated hundreds of millions of euros in damage.
The water reached 1.87 meters (6.14 feet) above average sea level Tuesday, the second-highest level ever recorded in the city and just 7 centimeters (2½ inches) lower than the historic 1966 flood. Another wave of exceptionally high water followed Wednesday.
The flooding was caused by southerly winds that pushed a high tide, exacerbated a full moon, into the city.
Rising sea levels because of climate change coupled with Venice’s well-documented sinking make the city built amid a system of canals particularly vulnerable. The sea level in Venice is 10 centimeters (4 inches) higher than it was 50 years ago, according to the city’s tide office.
Brugnaro blamed climate change for the “dramatic situation” and called for a speedy completion of a long-delayed project to construct offshore barriers.
Called “Moses,” the moveable undersea barriers are meant to limit flooding. But the project, which has been opposed by environmentalists concerned about damaging the delicate lagoon ecosystem, has been delayed by cost overruns and corruption scandals, with no launch date in site.
Across the Adriatic Sea, an intense storm with powerful winds caused floods in towns in Croatia and Slovenia.
In the Croatian town of Split, authorities said the flooding submerged the basement area of the Roman-era Diocletian’s Palace, where emergency crews battled to pump out the water.
Hydrographic Institute Croatia said sea levels on Wednesday in Split and Ploce were the highest since 1955, when monitoring started.
Last year, global warming made Venice canals run dry
It's versatile stuff, that global warming
Venice's iconic waterways have run dry after no rain has fallen in weeks. A combination of high atmospheric pressure in the upper Adriatic, cold weather and low tides left the famous canals dry.
Water levels have been reported to be up to 60cm lower than normal levels.
The retreating waters mean gondolas and water taxis have been unable to navigate the city’s elegant canals.
It is the second year in a row that Venice's canals have been left without water despite being prone to heavy flooding several times a year.
A mix of high pressure, low rainful and low tides that are common this time of year have cause Veince to run dry
The Venice canals are running 70 cm below it's normal water level
The low water levels in Venice has caused transport and navigation problems
Studies have indicated the city is sinking at a rate of 1-2mm a year.
In 2015 water levels were as much as 28 inches below normal levels.
Tourists were shocked by the lack of water in the famous city.
Venice’s record low was set in 1934, when the tide was four feet below average.