Man Filmed Swimming Across Venice's St. Mark's Square Amid Historic Flooding

Thursday, 14 Nov, 2019

"These are the effects of climate change", Brugnaro tweeted.

Venice's tide forecast office said the water level peaked at 1.27 meters (about 4 feet 3 inches) Tuesday morning but warned that an even higher tide was forecast for after nightfall.

High tides and lashing rain struck Venice Tuesday night bringing the water level in some areas close to a 50-year record high and causing inestimable damage to the centuries-old city.

Tourists and Venetians are taking to the streets in high boots after flooding hit much of the historic city.

A woman crosses a flooded St. Mark's Square on Wednesday, November 13, after an exceptionally high tide inundated the area overnight.

"Think of it this way - each time there's a flood, damage is done and it takes time to heal", said Marco Piana, an administrator at St Mark's Basilica.

Venice flood map: Is Venice entirely underwater?

After the worst floods since the 1960s, St Mark's Square was submerged by more than one metre of water on Wednesday and the adjacent St Mark's Basilica flooded for the sixth time in 1,200 years - but the fourth in the last two decades.

Video on social media showed deep water flowing like a river along one of Venice's main thoroughfares. A man was electrocuted as he tried to start a pump in his home and a second person was found dead elsewhere.

"The situation is dramatic". We ask the # Government to help us, the costs will be high. It offers tourists visiting from late September until April a different photo op and experience, as they wade through lots of water along with the city's sites. A number of businesses were affected. Rosalia Santoleri, told state broadcaster RAI.

Three waterbuses sank, but tourists continued their sightseeing as best they could.

Images show severe interior flooding inside the Gritti Palace, which is situated along Venice's Grand Canal. It began in 2003, but has been continually set back by cost overruns, scandals and delays.

One death was blamed on the flooding, on the barrier island of Pellestrina. Venice suffers flooding on a yearly basis. These jet-stream patterns are likely to continue, leading to more frequent and intense storms, as climate change escalates, Berry wrote.

The flooding was caused southerly winds that pushed a high tide, exacerbated a full moon, into the historic city.

The plan calls for the construction of 78 floating gates to protect Venice's lagoon during high tides.

"If Mose had been working, then we would have avoided this exceptional high tide", Brugnaro said.

Rising sea levels because of climate change coupled with Venice's well-documented sinking make the city built amid a system of canals particularly vulnerable.

Weather experts however are forecasting further storms and more heavy rainfall in the coming weeks.