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Wednesday, February 28, 2024

Flood protection gates save Venice from exceptional high tide

The northern Italian city of Venice narrowly avoided flooding in the evening of Monday, October 30, 2023, thanks to the deployment of its Mose defence system.


Water at the southern dam of the Lido barrier island reached 154 centimetres above the normal level on Monday night, according to the city’s data.

The famous St Mark’s Square became submerged when the water level was about 80 centimetres above the normal level, according to the municipality.

The Mose system consists of 78 yellow gates installed at four entrances to the lagoon and has been in operation since 2020.

When rain and storms cause water levels to rise, especially in the autumn, Venice raises the barriers, avoiding major high tides in the UNESCO World Heritage city.

High tides and seawater can cause significant damage to the buildings.

The highest water level recorded 194 centimetres was in 1966.

The high-water level late Monday was attributed to strong sirocco winds.

Live images from the popular tourist city on Tuesday morning showed people walking across St Mark’s Square as normal.

The last major Acqua Alta situation occurred in November 2022 when the water level reached about 170 centimetres above the normal level.

An Acqua Alta event is when the Adriatic sea level rises above 90 centimetres.

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