VENICE: Following a high tide that swamped the city of canals it was on red alert for more floods and fierce winds on Saturday 16th of November, 2019.
Due to latest sea surge Mayor Luigi Brugnaro ordered St Mark’s Square closed on Friday. Though the iconic landmark was opened the next day, the authorities forecast high water of over 5 feet.
A relevant piece published earlier:
Venice deluge: Aqua Alta hit highest level in 50 years
VENICE: Though UNESCO city’s houses, shops and churches have already been inundated as high waters hit their highest in five decades on Tuesday, causing damage of millions of euros, yet another high-tide is feared today (Friday 15th of November, 2019).
Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte took to the Twitter to announce a national state of emergency yesterday (14th of November 2019) evening after floodwater levels in Venice reached the highest in five decades. He also tweeted that the Italian Cabinet approved €20 million ($22 million) to help the city recover from the floods.
Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte maintaining that the flooding was a blow to the heart of Italy, told that a state of emergency had been approved. Earlier he met Venice’s mayor and emergency services before visiting affected businesses and the residents onboard speed boat.
While authorities assessed the extent of the damage to Venice’s cultural treasures, locals were defiant. Many stopped for their usual coffees at flooded bars while standing in several inches of water.Tourists were seen taking snaps of the deluge.
Mayor Luigi Brugnaro had estimated the damage to Venice at hundreds of millions of euros. The crisis, driven by bad weather, has prompted the government to release 20 million euros in funds to tackle the devastation. Residents whose houses had been hit would immediately get up to 5,000 euros in government aid, while restaurant and shop owners could receive up to 20,000 euros and apply for more later.
Interestingly, an enormous infrastructure project has been under way since 2003 to protect the city, but it has been plagued by cost overruns, corruption scandals and delays. There are 78 gates that can be raised to protect Venice’s lagoon during high tides – but a recent attempt to test part of it revealed it had rusted. It is pertinent to mention here that the floating city Serenissima that receives 36 million international visitors annually harbors only fifty thousand residents.