Quantcast

70% of Venice Flooded by Highest Tide in at Least a Decade

Popular
Tourists wade through a flooded Piazza San Marco in Venice Monday. MIGUEL MEDINA / AFP / Getty Images

The worst flooding in at least a decade swamped Venice Monday as an exceptionally high tide covered around 70 percent of the iconic island city, the Huffington Post reported.

Venice is the Mediterranean World Heritage Site currently most at risk from flooding due to sea level rise, according to a recent study, and the city even has elevated sidewalks ready in case of high tides, but Monday's waters rose higher than the emergency sidewalks.


The tide surpassed 5 feet, 3 inches, making it the highest recorded since 2008 and potentially the highest recorded since 1979, CNN reported.

The high water didn't stop tourists from wading around famous landmarks like Piazza San Marco as business owners worked to keep water from entering their shops. Videos posted to social media showed waiters serving pizza in rubber boots, waves crashing against historic buildings and a jellyfish swimming up a cobblestone street.


Runners in the Venice Marathon competed Sunday despite 'the worst conditions ever for the event."

The flooding in Venice is immediately caused by a low-pressure system that has also brought flooding, wind and rain to other parts of northern Italy. At least six people have died, and popular Roman tourist sites like the Colosseum and Roman Forum were closed, the Huffington Post reported.

Venice, however, is increasingly used to flooding because of a combination of incoming silt, climate change and methane gas drilling in the sea nearby that undermines its islands, ABC News reported. When tide levels lower to 110 centimeters (approximately 3.6 feet) on Tuesday, they will be at levels Venice sees about four times a year, CNN said.

Venice has been working on an ambitious series of flood barriers since 2003 dubbed "Project Moses." The project features retractable gates that would block the entrance to the city's lagoon when tides are high, but corruption scandals and high costs have beset the operation, which should be completed in 2022 and has already cost around $6.5 billion, the Huffington Post reported.

But an article published in YaleEnvironment360 last year pointed out that the barrier, which was first conceived after a record-breaking 1966 flood, was only designed to withstand 1 foot of sea level rise, and some scientists think we could see 2 feet by 2050.

"After that, the sea will come in from other places to the north and the south. There is nothing we can do to stop it," project spokesperson Monica Ambrosini said.

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

Tuna auctions are a tourist spectacle in Tokyo. Outside the city's most famous fish market, long queues of visitors hoping for a glimpse of the action begin to form at 5 a.m. The attraction is so popular that last October the Tsukiji fish market, in operation since 1935, moved out from the city center to the district of Toyosu to cope with the crowds.

Read More Show Less

gmnicholas / E+ / Getty Images

By Nicole Greenfield

Kristan Porter grew up in a fishing family in the fishing community of Cutler, Maine, where he says all roads lead to one career path: fishing. (Porter's father was the family's lone exception. He suffered from terrible seasickness, and so became a carpenter.) The 49-year-old, who has been working on boats since he was a kid and fishing on his own since 1991, says that the recent warming of Maine's cool coastal waters has yielded unprecedented lobster landings.

Read More Show Less
Sponsored
TeamDAF / Getty Images Plus

The climate crisis is getting costly. Some of the world's largest companies expect to take over one trillion in losses due to climate change. Insurers are increasingly jittery and the world's largest firm has warned that the cost of premiums may soon be unaffordable for most people. Historic flooding has wiped out farmers in the Midwest.

Read More Show Less
Aerial view of lava flows from the eruption of volcano Kilauea on Hawaii, May 2018. Frizi / iStock / Getty Images

Hawaii's Kilauea volcano could be gearing up for an eruption after a pond of water was discovered inside its summit crater for the first time in recorded history, according to the AP.

Read More Show Less
The Eqip Sermia Glacier is seen behind a moraine left exposed by the glacier's retreat during unseasonably warm weather on Aug. 1 at Eqip Sermia, Greenland. Sean Gallup / Getty Images

Andrew Yang's assertion that people move away from the coast at the last Democratic debate is the completely rational and correct choice for NASA scientists in Greenland.

Read More Show Less
Sponsored
hadynyah / E+ / Getty Images

By Johnny Wood

The Ganges is a lifeline for the people of India, spiritually and economically. On its journey from the Himalayas to the Bay of Bengal, it supports fishermen, farmers and an abundance of wildlife.

The river and its tributaries touch the lives of roughly 500 million people. But having flowed for millennia, today it is reaching its capacity for human and industrial waste, while simultaneously being drained for agriculture and municipal use.

Here are some of the challenges the river faces.

Read More Show Less

Fibonacci Blue / CC BY 2.0

By Jake Johnson

As a growing number of states move to pass laws that would criminalize pipeline protests and hit demonstrators with years in prison, an audio recording obtained by The Intercept showed a representative of a powerful oil and gas lobbying group bragging about the industry's success in crafting anti-protest legislation behind closed doors.


Speaking during a conference in Washington, DC in June, Derrick Morgan, senior vice president for federal and regulatory affairs at the American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers (AFPM), touted "model legislation" that states across the nation have passed in recent months.

AFPM represents a number of major fossil fuel giants, including Chevron, Koch Industries and ExxonMobil.

"We've seen a lot of success at the state level, particularly starting with Oklahoma in 2017," said Morgan, citing Dakota Access Pipeline protests as the motivation behind the aggressive lobbying effort. "We're up to nine states that have passed laws that are substantially close to the model policy that you have in your packet."


The audio recording comes just months after Texas Gov. Greg Abbott signed into law legislation that would punish anti-pipeline demonstrators with up to 10 years in prison, a move environmentalists condemned as a flagrant attack on free expression.

"Big Oil is hijacking our legislative system," Dallas Goldtooth of the Indigenous Environmental Network said after the Texas Senate passed the bill in May.

As The Intercept's Lee Fang reported Monday, the model legislation Morgan cited in his remarks "has been introduced in various forms in 22 states and passed in ... Texas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Missouri, Indiana, Iowa, South Dakota, and North Dakota."

"The AFPM lobbyist also boasted that the template legislation has enjoyed bipartisan support," according to Fang. "In Louisiana, Democratic Gov. John Bel Edwards signed the version of the bill there, which is being challenged by the Center for Constitutional Rights. Even in Illinois, Morgan noted, 'We almost got that across the finish line in a very Democratic-dominated legislature.' The bill did not pass as it got pushed aside over time constraints at the end of the legislative session."

Reposted with permission from our media associate Common Dreams.

DESIREE MARTIN / AFP / Getty Images

Wildfires raging on Gran Canaria, the second most populous of Spain's Canary Islands, have forced around 9,000 people to evacuate.

Read More Show Less