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Is Venice sinking? Worst floods in a decade swamp Three quarters of the city



The world-famous Italian city of Venice has been experiencing its worst floods for more than a decade, with three quarters of the historic settlement flooded by high water levels.

A large part of Italy has been struggling with flooding strong winds in recent days, with four people killed by falling trees. In Venice, the water level rose more than 5 feet on Monday before going back.

The lagoon city is no longer a flood and is generally affected by high tides or strong winds about four times a year from the Acqua Alta – meaning "flood". But in recent years, sea-level rise in the context of climate change has led to the specter of permanent submersion.

The flooding this week exceeded normal levels and rose above the elevated walkways for local residents and tourists to keep their feet dry. The tide has reached its highest point since December 2008 The Guardian reports.

Officials were forced to remove the sidewalks and even close the city's waterbus system, though the vehicles remain in operation the islands on the edges of the lagoon. Schools were also closed on Mondays and Tuesdays.

CNN said that tourists and residents waded through the water, which reached at points the waist-high. Shopkeepers and restaurateurs desperately tried to barricade their homes to stop the tide by using buckets to stuff water into the swollen channels.

St. Mark's Square ̵

1; the epicenter of tourist flows in the city – became a lake, while tourists snaked along sidewalks in front of the Doge's Palace and other famous places. CNN noted that despite the floods, the Venice Marathon continued despite participants having to deal with ankle-deep water. [194559007]  GettyImages- 1055095566 Tourists walk in the flooded streets during a flood warning in Venice, Italy, on October 29, 2018. MIGUEL MEDINA / AFP / Getty Images

Venice has nicknamed "Project Moses" to stop such massive floods, but construction of a number of underwater steel barriers has lagged behind due to rising costs and corruption. When the tide reaches 43 inches – which happens about four times a year, usually between October and December – the barriers would come up.

Luigi Brugnaro, mayor of the city, said he had tried to talk to Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte about the

The governor of the Veneto region suggested that the flood could get worse and perhaps even the scale of the notorious events of 1966, which affected about 6.3 feet in Venice and left thousands homeless.

Venice, which hosts some 30 million visitors each year, is slowly losing its fight against the sea. Modern satellite technology has shown that the water level in the lagoon rises and permanently submerges some areas of the city, Live Science reported. The lagoon has an average depth of just over 3 feet, which means that it is particularly vulnerable to seasonal and longer-term fluctuations.

At the same time, some foundations actually sink. In the past, authorities have pumped groundwater below Venice, causing parts of it to sink deeper into the earth, exacerbating the risk of flooding and sea level

Nearby land reclamation, an increase in motorized shipping huge cruise ships – and mismanagement of the waterways around the lagoon have all contributed to faster-flowing, larger and more damaging swells, The Guardian .

As such, the frequency and extent of flooding must worsen as the city progresses through the 21st century. Between 2000 and 2013, for example, the city recorded eight floods of the highest category – more than in the past 50 years combined.


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