December 1, 2009

Much of Venice Underwater

A meteorological depression and natural tides have placed much of Venice - including St. Mark's Square - underwater, officials announced Monday.

Forty-five percent of the city was reported to be swamped after the lagoon rose more than 4 feet.

Between 1993 and 2002, Venice has flooded 50 times. The worst was on November, 4, 1966, when the city experienced catastrophic flooding, submerging Venice under 1.94 meters of water.

Also, according to AFP, "In February 1986, levels reached 1.58 meters above normal, and in December 2008 waters surged 1.56 meters."

Venice is already facing problems from rising sea levels. Last year, authorities began "Operation Rialto." Officials and engineers announced they were looking into the use of piston-supported-poles to be placed at the bottom of each structure. They have hopes this will life buildings up by up to one meter.

UNESCO warned in April 2007 that Venice was one of its designated World Heritage sites threatened by climate change.