NINTCHDBPICT000539415478.jpg


VENICE has declared a state of emergency after a 1.8-metre flood caused hundreds of millions of pounds worth of damage to the tourist hot spot and killed at least two people.

Shocking images show the historic St Mark’s Basilica under water – as the regional governor described a scene of “apocalyptic devastation” following the worst floods in 50 years.

 Some brave Venetians tried to go about their business this morning

25

Some brave Venetians tried to go about their business this morningCredit: AFP or licensors
 A priceless Banksy risks being damaged by the water

25

A priceless Banksy risks being damaged by the waterCredit: AFP or licensors
 One ferry was grounded by the flooding

25

One ferry was grounded by the floodingCredit: EPA
 Tourists were forced to carry their luggage through the floodwater

25

Tourists were forced to carry their luggage through the floodwaterCredit: AP:Associated Press
 Others opted to float it along

25

Others opted to float it alongCredit: AP:Associated Press

Luca Zaia, governor of the Veneto region, said: “There’s apocalyptic devastation.

“Venice is on its knees… the art, the basilica, the shops and the homes, a disaster.. The city is bracing itself for the next high tide.”

Saint Mark’s Square was submerged by more than one metre of water, while the adjacent Saint Mark’s Basilica was flooded for only the sixth time in 1,200 years – sparking fears for millions of pounds worth of priceless art.

The floods have also brought misery to tourists and local residents – stranding boats, battering shops and hotels and and leaving many of the city’s squares and alleyways deep underwater.


Are YOU stranded by the Venice floods? Call our newsdesk on 020 7782 4368 or email us at Tips@the-sun.co.uk


The city’s Mayor Luigi Brugnaro blamed climate change for the “dramatic situation” after one man died as a direct result of the flooding.

He claimed the basilica had suffered “grave damage”, but no details were available on the state of its world-famous Byzantine interior.

The building’s administrator said it aged 20 years in a single day when it flooded last year.

The victim, a local man from Pellestrina, was killed after being struck by lightning while using an electric water pump.

The body of another man was reportedly found when concerned relatives entered his home.

25

 

 The flooding has damaged hundreds of ancient buildings

25

The flooding has damaged hundreds of ancient buildingsCredit: Reuters
 The city's iconic gondolas were left abandoned on pavements

25

The city’s iconic gondolas were left abandoned on pavementsCredit: Getty – Contributor
 The floodwater laid waste to a series of luxury hotels

25

The floodwater laid waste to a series of luxury hotelsCredit: AFP
 St Mark's square was under water last night

25

St Mark’s square was under water last nightCredit: AP:Associated Press
 Tourists were forced to wade through the heavy floods

25

Tourists were forced to wade through the heavy floodsCredit: AP:Associated Press
 Business owners battled to hold back the water

25

Business owners battled to hold back the waterCredit: Getty – Contributor

Is it safe to travel to Venice?

An estimated 85 per cent of the city is underwater, sparking concerns over damage to ancient mosaics and artworks.

One of two people reportedly killed in the floods, a local man from Pellestrina, died after being struck by lightning while using an electric water pump.

Venice mayor Luigi Brugnaro has called for the city to be declared a disaster zone, warning “the cost will be high.”

But the city’s businesses are also very used to dealing with flooding and while many of the tourist attractions, cafes and restaurants are closed, some have remained open, including the Ducal Palace and the Museo Archeologico Nazionale di Venezia.

The city has also installed raised walkways in certain parts to enable pedestrians to get around.

Night-time footage showed a torrent of water whipped up by high winds raging through the city centre.

Tables and chairs bobbled along alleyways as locals waded to their hotels.

Transport officials closed the water bus system – except to surrounding islands – because of the emergency.

One posh hotel was forced to stack priceless tapestries on tables after a “waterfall” swamped the bar.

A museum of modern art was evacuated after the floodwater sparked an electrical fire.

And two French tourists were forced to SWIM back to their hotel after a makeshift bridge overturned.

Only once since records began in 1923 has the tide been higher, reaching 1.94m (6ft 5ins) in 1966.

Dramatic photos show taxi boats and gondolas grounded on walkways flanking canals.

An estimated 85 per cent of the city is underwater, sparking concerns over damage to ancient mosaics and artworks.

Why is Venice so prone to flooding?

Venice experiences a phenomenon ‘acqua alta’ or ‘high water’ due to exceptional tide peaks in the Adriatric Sea.

The tidal peaks reach their maximum level in the Venetian Lagoon, which runs around and through the city, causing flooding in the region.

The causes of the tidal peaks are down to a number of factors, including the movement and phase of the moon, wind strengths and direction as well as rain level and rising sea-levels.

Exceptionally high tides in Venice occurs once every four years, on average.

However minor flooding in the city happens around four times a year and usually within the winter months.

High water can sometimes last only for a few hours but it is dependent on which part of the island is hit by floodwaters.

 Staff at St Mark's basilica piled up pews and chairs to keep them safe

25

Staff at St Mark’s basilica piled up pews and chairs to keep them safeCredit: AP:Associated Press
 The St Mark's crypt was left

25

The St Mark’s crypt was leftCredit: AFP or licensors
 The damage is feared to run into the billions

25

The damage is feared to run into the billionsCredit: AFP or licensors
 Hotels were forced to build makeshift bridges

25

Hotels were forced to build makeshift bridgesCredit: AFP or licensors
 The floods are already feared to have claimed two lives

25

The floods are already feared to have claimed two livesCredit: AFP or licensors
 The water reached 1.8m at its highest

25

The water reached 1.8m at its highestCredit: AFP or licensors
 Climate change was blamed for the water

25

Climate change was blamed for the waterCredit: AFP or licensors

Natalie and Watine Olivier arrived in Venice as the high tide struck. Their plans to visit the Venice Biennale have been dashed.

Watine Olivier, 68, a surgeon in Lille, France, said: “We walked back to our hotel and the water rose before our eyes. It rose about 50cm in ten minutes.”

He added: “There is no difference between the grand canal and the street.”

Petra Vencelidesova, 31, a film set designer visiting from Prague, said the flooding felt “like an apocalypse”.

Caught in St Marks Square at the time of the rising tide, she described the chaos.

“All the ships were flooded, the shop fronts were inundated with water from broken windows. I saw people waist-high in the water taking photos.
“I feel sorry for the people who live and work here … the shopkeepers were scooping water in buckets and throwing it out their windows.  It was crazy. It felt like a movie.”

 Partially submerged ferry boats caught up the flood chaos

25

Partially submerged ferry boats caught up the flood chaosCredit: AP:Associated Press
 The historic tourist spot has been deluged with water

25

The historic tourist spot has been deluged with waterCredit: SWNS:South West News Service
 Alleyways have been turned into streams in the city

25

Alleyways have been turned into streams in the cityCredit: SWNS:South West News Service
 However some tourists couldn't resist taking a quick selfie

25

However some tourists couldn’t resist taking a quick selfieCredit: AP:Associated Press
 Cafe chairs are piled up in a flooded St. Mark's Square

25

Cafe chairs are piled up in a flooded St. Mark’s SquareCredit: AP:Associated Press
 A boat strapped down near St Mark's Basilica

25

A boat strapped down near St Mark’s BasilicaCredit: SWNS:South West News Service



Source link

About the Author:

Leave a Reply