Venice hit by further flooding as high tides reach 1.5 metres

Voluntary workers help citizens cope with emergency as damages estimated at €1bn

A man walks in flooded St Mark’s Square in Venice during ‘acqua alta’, or high water, of 160cm, on Sunday. Photograph: Filippo Monteforte/AFP

A man walks in flooded St Mark’s Square in Venice during ‘acqua alta’, or high water, of 160cm, on Sunday. Photograph: Filippo Monteforte/AFP

 

Reeling from devastating floods this week, Venice suffered another exceptional high tide on Sunday, with the water peaking at 1.5m, marking the worst week for the city since official tide statistics were produced in 1872.

The city’s centre for tide forecasts had warned the tide could reach 1.6m on Sunday and the high mark hit at 12.10pm on Sunday was not far short of that.

Water flooded St Mark’s Square and hundreds of voluntary workers were helping citizens cope with the emergency.

The city beloved around the world for its canals, historic architecture and art, was hit by a high tide at 1.87m on Tuesday. That was just short of the record 1.9m set in 1966 and caused the city’s worst flooding in 50 years.

In normal conditions, tides of 80-90cm are generally seen as high but manageable.

With four tides above 1.4m since Monday, this is the worst week for high tides in Venice since 1872 when official statistics were first produced.

Mayor Luigi Brugnaro, who has been appointed special commissioner to deal with the emergency, estimated damages from the flooding in the city since Tuesday at around €1 billion.

Authorities in Florence and Pisa were also closely monitoring the Arno river, whose water levels rose rapidly in the night due to heavy rain.

Italy’s longest river, the Po, which runs across northern Italy passing through Turin, was also being monitored after its level rose by 1.5m in the last 24 hours due to heavy rain. – Reuters