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Venice flooded by highest tide in 50 years

Canal city under water
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Canal city under water

Venice, Italy’s famous city of canals, is as much on the front line of climate change as anywhere else, and now that line is under water. Severe flooding in Venice that has left much of the Italian city under water.

The highest water levels in the region in more than 50 years will leave "a permanent mark", Venice Mayor Luigi Brugnaro

AP
Record levels
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Record levels

The waters in Venice peaked at 1.87m (6ft), according to the tide monitoring centre. Only once since official records began in 1923 has the tide been higher, reaching 1.94m in 1966.

On Tuesday, rains helped bring the seasonal high tides known as acqua alta to near record levels, just 7 centimeters short of what was seen during the historic floods of 1966.

AP
Venice on its knees
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Venice on its knees

Popular tourist sites were left completely flooded.

St Mark's Square - one of the lowest parts of the city - was one of the worst hit areas. St. Mark’s Square at the city center has gone from flooding four times a year in 1900 to over 60 times annually in recent years. The Basilica also flooded Tuesday for just the sixth time in twelve centuries - the fifth time was in 2018.

Floodwaters that inundated the famed St. Mark's Basilica raised new concerns over damage to the mosaics and other artworks.

AP
MOSE Project
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MOSE Project

A project to protect the city from flooding has been under way since 2003 but has been hit by soaring costs, scandals and delays.

The so-called Mose project - a series of large barriers or floodgates that would be raised from the seabed to shut off the lagoon in the event of rising sea levels and winter storms - was successfully tested for the first time in 2013.

Reuters
Across the sea
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Across the sea

Across the Adriatic Sea, heavy storm and sweeping winds also collapsed caused floods in towns in Croatia and Slovenia.

In the Croatian town of Split, authorities on Wednesday said that the flooding submerged the basement area of the Roman-era Diocletian's Palace where emergency crews battled to pump out the water.

Slovenia's coastal towns of Piran, Izola and Koper reported that sea levels reached the second highest point in the last 50 years.

AP
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