Venice’s St. Mark’s Square Flooded After Authorities Fail to Activate High-Tide Barrier

Venice was inundated by 1.5 meters (5ft) of seawater after its flood barrier system was not activated by city authorities on time due to wrong forecasts.

Venice was inundated by 1.5 meters (5ft) of seawater after its flood barrier system was not activated by city authorities on time due to wrong forecasts. 

Weather bulletins had initially predicted high tide rising to 1.2 meters which were lower than the 1.3 meters level required for the flood defense system called MOSE to activate.

“To activate MOSE a bigger forecast is necessary. We will have to review the rules of the command post,” said Venice Mayor Luigi Brugnaro.

Brugnaro said that the weather intensified after strong sirocco winds came from Croatia while two rivers overflowed near the sea around Venice.  

The waters flooded St. Mark’s Square, the lowest point in the city which entered the shops in the area and the basilica.

Carlo Alberto Tesserin, the procurator of the Basilica of San Marco said that water had got inside the historic building and covered the narthex.

“The situation is terrible, we’re underwater in a dramatic way,” said Tesserin.

The Mose dams were designed in 1984, started being built in 2003, and were supposed to come into service in 2011 but were severely delayed due to cost overruns, corruption scandals, and delays.


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