Tourists attached plastic bags to their legs or stripped off to take a dip in St Mark's Square in Venice on Sunday as rising sea waters surged through the lagoon city. High water measuring 1.49 metres (5ft) above the normal level of the Adriatic sea came with bad weather that swept Italy at the weekend, causing floods in historic cities including Vicenza as well in the region of Tuscany 250 miles further south.
Venice's high water, or "acqua alta", said to be the sixth highest since 1872, flooded 70% of the city and was high enough to make raised wooden platforms for pedestrians float away. The record high water in Venice - 1.94 metres in 1966 - prompted many residents to abandon the city for new lives on the mainland.
Venetians bombarded Facebook with moans about the city's weather forecasters, who had predicted just 1.2 metres of water on Saturday, before correcting their forecast at dawn on Sunday.
"How come the people from the council who put out the wooden platforms were predicting 150cm?" asked Matelda Bottoni, who manages a jewellery design shop off St Mark's Square, which floods when water reaches 105cm. "Many residents and shopkeepers had gone to the mountains for the day and did not have time to rush back."
Originally posted by predator0187
[Look at how relaxed these people are...Embracing nature rather than fighting it.
The lagoon is an almost closed body of water, with only three narrow openings towards the Adriatic Sea. Sewage and other kinds of pollution used to be a major problem in the lagoon. It is still a problem, but things have improved immensely in the last decades.
Garbage is a problem in Venice like it is in every other major city, only in Venice it is so much harder collecting it. It is rather difficult to sweep a canal. As a result, there are often garbage in the canals, but don’t complain, pick it up. After all, that’s why kayaks in Venice has bungee cords on the deck.
It is quite strange that this is happening and I have heard nothing about it to this point.70% of the city is flooded? Wow!
Anyways I thought I would bring this to everyone here as it is a big story that seems to get no coverage in our media.
Exceptional tides (when the water-line is equal to or more than 140 centimetres on the mareographic zero of "Punta della Salute", located near the Salute Church, in front of St. Mark's Square) statistically occur once every 4 years. They are caused by a combination of various factors, such as the astronomical tide, low pressure on the Tyrrhenian Sea, strong south wind (scirocco) and the Adriatic seiche. Further two larger phenomena also contribute to increase the water level: eustasy (see glossary below) and the subsidence of the Venetian Lagoon, which, together, have caused an altimetric loss of about 26 centimetres in the last century.