Sweeping storms in northern Italy last weekend led to the lagoons in the city of Venice rising above the danger mark.
Sweeping storms in northern Italy last weekend led to the lagoons in the city of Venice rising above the danger mark. The storms came ten years to the day after the dioestrus flooding which almost swamped the historic city in 1966.
SYNOPSIS: The famous St Mark's square was almost completely under water at high tide and low-lying parts of the city were under water to a depth of four to five feet. (approx 1 1/2 metres). The floods -- the third this winter in the city which contains many of the world great art treasure -- brought back horrific memories of the 1966 floods. In these floods both Venice and Florence suffered. The seawall in Venice did break and many works of art were destroyed. More than 100 people throughout Italy died in chose floods.
The flooding has left many Italians homeless. Highways and railway lines were blocked and parts of the countryside were under eight feet (approx. 2 2/1 metres) of water. Venetians used their initiative to try and keep their feet dry.
The renewed threat to the city has provoked a storm of protest -- from the local press to politicians to the international community which has bee making efforts for years to try and save sinking Venice. In Britain, a book entitled "The Death of Venice is about to be published. It claims that no action has been taken to build gates across the entrances to the lagoon so that they can be closed when flooding threatens the city. It also claims that not a single cent of the 500 million US dollars raised on the international money market in 1973 has been spent in Venice. The authors blame the Italian government for that and say the government used to fund to reduce a heavy balance of payments deficit. Meanwhile, as accusations fly back and forth, the people of Venice have pressing problems Many of their houses have been flooded out and there is no premise that this won't happen many more times before the city either sinks or someone provides the money to keep it floating.