St Mark's Square in Venice covered in water during an exceptional high tide, 13 November 2019

Image copyright
Getty Images

Italy has declared a state of emergency in Venice after the Italian city was engulfed by 1.87m (6ft) high water levels, flooding its historic basilica and cutting power to homes.

More than 80% of the city, a Unesco world heritage site, was under water when tides were at their highest.

Italy’s Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte described the flooding as “a blow to the heart of our country”.

He said the government would now act quickly to provide funds and resources.

It hurts to see the city so damaged, its artistic heritage compromised, its commercial activities on its knees,” Mr Conte, who visited the region late on Wednesday, wrote in a Facebook post (in Italian).

A view inside the flooded St Mark's Basilica in Venice during an exceptional high tide, 13 November 2019

Image copyright
Getty Images

He said the government would “accelerate” the building of structural defences for the lagoon city, referring specifically to the so-called Mose project – a hydraulic barrier system to shut off the lagoon in the event of rising sea levels and winter storms.

The prime minister said he was declaring emergency measures on Thursday, adding that individuals could claim up to EUR5,000 (GBP4,300; $5,500), and businesses up to EUR20,000, in compensation.

Many museums remained shut on Thursday, AFP reports.

A restaurant near the Riva degli Schiavoni in Venice, Italy, 13 November 2019

Image copyright
Getty Images

It comes as Venetians woke to sirens indicating that the tide would “remain high” in the coming days.

The mayor of Venice, Luigi Brugnaro, blamed climate change for the highest water levels in more than 50 years this week, saying the impact was “huge” and would leave “a permanent mark”.

St Mark’s Square – one of the lowest parts of the city – was one of the worst hit areas.

St Mark's Square in Venice, Italy, is covered in water during an exceptional high tide, 13 November 2019

Image copyright
Getty Images

Mr Brugnaro said the famous St Mark’s Basilica had suffered “grave damage”. The crypt at the historic landmark was completely flooded on Tuesday and there are fears that the basilica’s columns may have been structurally damaged.

“The damage will run into hundreds of millions of euros,” Mr Brugnaro warned.

A man pumps water from the flooded crypt of St Mark's Basilica in Venice, 13 November 2019

Image copyright
Getty Images

On Wednesday, pumps were deployed to drain water from the church and its 12th Century crypt.

Small business owners and vendors in the city were appealing to tourists, many of whom had left the city after the water levels rose, to return.

A shopkeeper uses a bucket to remove water from his property in Venice, 13 November 2019

Image copyright
Getty Images

One merchant told the mayor that his business relied on tourism, but that his kiosk was swept away by the tide.

A newlywed couple walks across a flooded square in Venice, 14 November 2019

Image copyright
Getty Images

The city of Venice is made up of more than 100 islands inside a lagoon off the north-east coast of Italy. It suffers flooding on a yearly basis.

Only once since official records began in 1923, however, has the tide been higher than it reached this week – hitting 1.94m in 1966.

St Mark's Square in Venice is flooded in water during an exceptional high tide, 13 November 2019

Image copyright
Getty Images

On the island of Pellestrina, two people died as a result of the flooding on a thin strip of land that separates the lagoon from the Adriatic Sea. A resident was electrocuted as he tried to start a pump in his home and a second person was found dead elsewhere on the island.

The flooding in Venice was caused by a combination of high spring tides and a meteorological storm surge driven by strong winds blowing north-eastwards across the Adriatic Sea.

The winds were so strong that an empty vaporetto – or public water bus – ended up grounded in Venice’s Arsenale complex.

The strong winds in Venice brought a vaporetto - public water bus - up Venice's Arsenale complex, 13 November 2019

Image copyright
Getty Images

Mr Conte said the Mose flood defence project, part of which was successfully tested in 2013, was not expected to be operational until the end of 2021.

Work on the project began back in 2003 and has already cost billions of euros. It has been plagued by corruption and bribery allegations.

Media playback is unsupported on your device

In 2014, the former mayor of Venice, Giorgio Orsoni, stepped down after he was accused of involvement in the embezzling of around EUR20m ($27m; GBP16m) in public funds earmarked for flood defences.

By BBC meteorologist Nikki Berry

This latest Acqua Alta (high water) occurrence in Venice is the second highest tide the city has experienced in recorded history. However, if we look at the top 10 tides, five have occurred in the past 20 years and the most recent was only last year.

While we should try to avoid attributing a single event to climate change, the increased frequency of these exceptional tides is obviously a big concern. In our changing climate, sea levels are rising and a city such as Venice, which is also sinking, is particularly susceptible to such changes.

Wind and high water damaged the marble columns of the Riva degli Schiavoni in Venice, 13 November 2019

Image copyright
Getty Images

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.

One of the possible effects of a changing climate is that the jet stream will be more frequently meridional and blocked weather patterns such as these will also become more frequent. 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.

Furthermore, the meridional jet stream can be linked back to stronger typhoons in the north-west Pacific resulting in more frequent cold outbreaks in North America and an unsettled Mediterranean is another one of the downstream effects.

All images are subject to copyright.

0 comments

You must be logged in to post a comment.

  • "Budva da bude perspektivnije i bolje društvo"
    on 26/05/2024 at 19:06

    Potpredsjednica Demokrata i druga na izbornoj listi Dragana Kažanegra Stanišić iskoristila je danas svoje biračko pravo u Pržnu, pozivajući građane Budve da učine isto.

  • "OSI onemogućeno samostalno ostvarivanje biračkog prava"
    on 26/05/2024 at 13:53

    Niti jedno od svih 28 posmatranih biračkih mjesta u Budvi nije u potpunosti pristupačno osobama oštećenog vida što znači da na biračkom mjestu nije dostupan šablon za glasanje koji je izrađen u tamnoj boji od čvršćeg, postojanog materijala sa prorezima gdje su brojevi izbornih lista, te da etison trake nijesu pravilno postavljene, saopštio je izvršni direktor NVO Savez slijepih Crne Gore Goran Macanović.

  • "Ne odustajemo od programa Evropa Sad 2"
    on 25/05/2024 at 18:10

    PES sigurno neće povlačiti predloge čiji je idejni tvorac i autor, a neće odustajati ni od ekonomskog programa Evropa Sad 2, koji je osnova za bolji život i ekonomski prosperitet svih naših građana, poručio je poslanik Pokreta Evropa sad (PES) Darko Dragović.

  • PES neće povući iz procedure rezoluciju o Jasenovcu
    on 25/05/2024 at 17:10

    Poslanički klub PES je podržao rezoluciju o Jasenovcu i neće je povlačiti iz skupštinske procedure, kategoričan je generalni sekretar Pokreta Evropa sad Boris Pejović.

  • Reakcija Kneževića očekivana, dogovoriti brzu rekonstrukciju Vlade
    on 25/05/2024 at 15:05

    Odluka Demokratske narodne partije (DNP) o suspenziji dalje podrške Vladi Milojka Spajića do ispunjena njihovih zahtjeva za politikologa Vladmira Pavićevića je očekivana. Kao najbolji način da se izađe iz nastale situacije vidi dogovor i relativno brzu rekonstrukciju Vlade.

  • "Politički odgovorno da DNP i NSD prekinu podršku Vladi"
    on 25/05/2024 at 14:31

    Nakon izglasavanja Rezolucije o Srebrenici postalo je jasno da Pokret Evropa sad (PES) baštini sve političke prioritete Demokratske partije socijalista (DPS) i politički je odgovorno da Demokratska narodna partija (DNP) i Nova srpska demokratija (NSD) prekinu podršku Vladi i da se organizuju vanredni parlamentarni izbori, poručio je lider Pokreta za promjene (PzP) Nebojša Medojević.

  • DNP: Suspenzija podrške Vladi do ispunjenja zahtjeva
    on 25/05/2024 at 11:28

    Predsjedništvo Demokratske narodne partije (DNP) najoštrije je osudilo odluku Vlade Crne Gore da u Generalnoj Skupštini UN–a glasa za Rezoluciju o genocidu u Srebrenici i zato jednoglasno donijelo odluku o suspenziji podrške Vladi Milojka Spajića do ispunjenja zahtjeva a saopštili su i da neće podržati rekonstrukciju Vlade najavljenu za jun mjesec.

  • Nastavak podrške SAD od vitalnog značaja za stabilnost Crne Gore
    on 25/05/2024 at 10:28

    Nastavak podrške SAD od vitalnog značaja za bezbjednost i stabilnost Crne Gore, kazao je ministar pravde Andrej Milović.

  • "Spajić pokazao da će opet prevariti srazmjerne penzionere"
    on 24/05/2024 at 20:41

    Iako je najavio povećanje minimalnih penzija za srazmjerne penzionere, odbijanjem predloga poslanika Građanskog pokreta URA kojim je predviđeno povećanje i srazmjernih penzija na 450 eura, Spajić i njegova Vlada su pokazali da će opet prevariti korisnike srazmjernih penzija, kazao je šef poslaničkog kluba Građanskog pokreta URA Miloš Konatar.

  • "Vlada posvećena izgradnji ekonomskog, društvenog, političkog i kulturnog ambijenta"
    on 24/05/2024 at 20:09

    Vlada Crne Gore posvećena je izgradnji ekonomskog, društvenog, političkog i kulturnog ambijenta koji će omogućiti da se mladi ljudi koji se obrazuju u inostranstvu vrate u Crnu Goru, kako bi u u svojoj zemlji nastavili da rade i stvaraju. To je poručio ministar vanjskih poslova Filip Ivanović na panel diskusiji „Upoznajmo Evropsku uniju iz perspektive Erasmus plus korisnika“.

  • Mujović sjutra u radnoj posjeti Trebinju
    on 26/05/2024 at 20:04

    Ministar energetike i rudarstva Saša Mujović, boraviće sjutra u radnoj posjeti Trebinju, na poziv kolege iz Republike Srpske, Petra Đokića.

  • ASP: Ministarstvo energetike već dvije godine krši zakon
    on 26/05/2024 at 14:25

    Ministarstvo energetike i rudarstva već pune dvije godine krši Zakon o energetici i ne donosi Nacionalni klimatski i energetski plan, kao strateški dokument iz ove oblasti, dok zapisnici sa sjednica radne grupe zadužene za njegovu izradu pokazuju da se budući rad Termoelektrane (TE) Pljevlja prikazuje kao jedno od ključnih pitanja, jer se mora planirati postepeno ukidanje proizvodnje električne energije na ugalj, ocijenili su u NVO Akcija za socijalnu pravdu.

  • Fabrika peleta i briketa - kratko poslovanje, prazni pogoni i oštećeni radnici
    on 26/05/2024 at 09:12

    Vijest da će se u Pljevljima proizvoditi pelet i briketi od uglja optimistično je, prije nešto više od godinu, dočekana u tom gradu. Pogoni su, međutim, radili svega nekoliko mjeseci.

  • U ICT oblasti radi 9,8 miliona stručnjaka širom EU
    on 25/05/2024 at 20:50

    U oblasti informacione i komunikacione tehnologije (ICT) širom Evropske unije u prošloj godini radilo je 9,8 miliona stručnjaka, objavio je Eurostat.

  • Peranović: Ne planira se povećanje opšte stope PDV-a
    on 25/05/2024 at 14:17

    VD direktora Poreske uprave Sava Laketić naglasio je značaj računovodstveno-revizorske profesije u implementaciji poreskih propisa, poručujući da se intezivno radi na reforemi sveobuhvatnog poreskog sistema. On je to kazao na zatvaranju Simpozijuma Računovođa i revizora, koji je minula tri dana održan u Ulcinju.

  • Likvidna aktiva banaka u februaru 1,49 milijardi eura
    on 25/05/2024 at 13:19

    Likvidna aktiva banaka u februaru je iznosila 1,49 milijardi eura, što je 2,69 odsto manje nego u januaru.

  • Kvadrat stana skuplji za 630, plate veće 315 eura
    on 25/05/2024 at 11:13

    Od prvog kvartala 2019. godine do aprila ove godine prosječna tržišna cijena metra kvadratnog stana u novogradnji u Crnoj Gori porasla je za skoro 630 eura, pokazuje zvanična statistika.

  • Spajić: Trajekt Crna Gora – Italija kreće 3. jula
    on 25/05/2024 at 08:47

    Trajekt Crna Gora – Italija kreće 3. jula, najavio je premijer Milojko Spajić.

  • Reformom upisa radnog staža uštedjela bi i država i privreda
    on 25/05/2024 at 08:46

    Privredna komore Crne Gore organizovala je studijsku posjetu institucijama u Srbiji, a cilj posjete bilo je upoznavanje sa reformom upisa radnog staža koja je sprovedena u toj susjednoj državi.

  • Za 11 bivših "dakićevaca" po 2.000 eura
    on 25/05/2024 at 06:32

    Ustavni sud Crne Gore donio je Odluku kojom obavezuje Ministarstvo finansija da bivšim radnicima fabrike "Radoje Dakić" isplati po dvije hiljade eura na ime nematerijalne štete zbog povrede prava iz člana 32. Ustava i člana 6. stav 1. evropske Konvencije. To se navodi u informaciji koju je Vlada usvojila na jučerašnjoj sjednici u vezi izvršenja odluke Ustavnog suda od 24. oktobra 2023. godine.