Is there is Any Hope for Venice?

Published November 15th, 2019 - 05:06 GMT

Venice has flooded for the second time this week as 70% of the city is flooded after another high tide that is far beyond normal levels hit the city. The government declared a state of emergency with the mayor blaming climate change. 

The city is facing the second-worst flooding in nearly 100 years, and high tide could hit nearly twice the normal level today. At least two people have died, and the city's mayor has closed the historic St. Mark's Square. The government is allocating 20 million euros ($22 million) to address the immediate damage but Venice Mayor Luigi Brugnaro predicted the costs would be vastly higher and launched a fund to help pay for repairs.

Venice, a UNESCO World Heritage site, is spread over 118 islands and once presided over a powerful maritime empire. The city is filled with Gothic architectural masterpieces which house paintings by some of Italy’s most important artists.

Italian Culture Minister Dario Franceschini said initial checks suggested the damage to St. Mark’s was not irreparable, but warned that more than 50 churches across the city had been flooded this week.

Venice could be permanently submerged by the end of the next century, scientists warn.
 

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A man prepares a cigarette as he walks in the water of the flooded St. Mark's Square, on November 15, 2019 in Venice, two days after the city suffered its highest tide in 50 years. Flood-hit Venice was bracing for another exceptional high tide on November 15, as Italy declared a state of emergency for the UNESCO city where perilous deluges have caused millions of euros worth of damage. Filippo MONTEFORTE / AFP

A man prepares a cigarette as he walks in the water of the flooded St. Mark's Square, on November 15, 2019 in Venice, two days after the city suffered its highest tide in 50 years. Flood-hit Venice was bracing for another exceptional high tide on November 15, as Italy declared a state of emergency for the UNESCO city where perilous deluges have caused millions of euros worth of damage. Filippo MONTEFORTE / AFP

Venice hit by another ferocious high tide, flooding city (Twitter)

Venice hit by another ferocious high tide, flooding city (Twitter)

People take pictures in a street near the Rialto Bridge, on November 15, 2019 in Venice, two days after the city suffered its highest tide in 50 years. Flood-hit Venice was bracing for another exceptional high tide on November 15, as Italy declared a state of emergency for the UNESCO city where perilous deluges have caused millions of euros worth of damage. Filippo MONTEFORTE / AFP

People take pictures in a street near the Rialto Bridge, on November 15, 2019 in Venice, two days after the city suffered its highest tide in 50 years. Flood-hit Venice was bracing for another exceptional high tide on November 15, as Italy declared a state of emergency for the UNESCO city where perilous deluges have caused millions of euros worth of damage. Filippo MONTEFORTE / AFP

People sit on benches in a flooded arcade by St. Mark's Square on November 15, 2019 in Venice, two days after the city suffered its highest tide in 50 years. Flood-hit Venice was bracing for another exceptional high tide on November 15, as Italy declared a state of emergency for the UNESCO city where perilous deluges have caused millions of euros worth of damage. Filippo MONTEFORTE / AFP

People sit on benches in a flooded arcade by St. Mark's Square on November 15, 2019 in Venice, two days after the city suffered its highest tide in 50 years. Flood-hit Venice was bracing for another exceptional high tide on November 15, as Italy declared a state of emergency for the UNESCO city where perilous deluges have caused millions of euros worth of damage. Filippo MONTEFORTE / AFP

A general view shows the flooded St. Mark's Square, with St. Mark's Basilica (C) on November 14, 2019 in Venice. Much of Venice was left under water after the highest tide in 50 years ripped through the historic Italian city, beaching gondolas, trashing hotels and sending tourists fleeing through rapidly rising waters. Filippo MONTEFORTE / AFP

A general view shows the flooded St. Mark's Square, with St. Mark's Basilica (C) on November 14, 2019 in Venice. Much of Venice was left under water after the highest tide in 50 years ripped through the historic Italian city, beaching gondolas, trashing hotels and sending tourists fleeing through rapidly rising waters. Filippo MONTEFORTE / AFP

The artwork by street artist Banksy, that portrays a migrant child wearing a lifejacket and holding a neon pink flare, is pictured after an exceptional overnight "Alta Acqua" high tide water level, on November 13, 2019 in Venice. Venice was hit by the highest tide in more than 50 years late November 12, with tourists wading through flooded streets to seek shelter as a fierce wind whipped up waves in St. Mark's Square. Marco Bertorello / AFP

The artwork by street artist Banksy, that portrays a migrant child wearing a lifejacket and holding a neon pink flare, is pictured after an exceptional overnight "Alta Acqua" high tide water level, on November 13, 2019 in Venice. Venice was hit by the highest tide in more than 50 years late November 12, with tourists wading through flooded streets to seek shelter as a fierce wind whipped up waves in St. Mark's Square. Marco Bertorello / AFP

People walk on a footbridge across a flooded street after an exceptional overnight "Alta Acqua" high tide water level, on November 13, 2019 in Venice. Venice was hit by the highest tide in more than 50 years late November 12, with tourists wading through flooded streets to seek shelter as a fierce wind whipped up waves in St. Mark's Square. Marco Bertorello / AFP

People walk on a footbridge across a flooded street after an exceptional overnight "Alta Acqua" high tide water level, on November 13, 2019 in Venice. Venice was hit by the highest tide in more than 50 years late November 12, with tourists wading through flooded streets to seek shelter as a fierce wind whipped up waves in St. Mark's Square. Marco Bertorello / AFP

People walk across and take photos at the flooded St. Mark's Square after an exceptional overnight "Alta Acqua" high tide water level, on November 13, 2019 in Venice. Venice was hit by the highest tide in more than 50 years late November 12, with tourists wading through flooded streets to seek shelter as a fierce wind whipped up waves in St. Mark's Square. Marco Bertorello / AFP

People walk across and take photos at the flooded St. Mark's Square after an exceptional overnight "Alta Acqua" high tide water level, on November 13, 2019 in Venice. Venice was hit by the highest tide in more than 50 years late November 12, with tourists wading through flooded streets to seek shelter as a fierce wind whipped up waves in St. Mark's Square. Marco Bertorello / AFP

A general view shows the Doge's Palace (L) overlooking the flooded St. Mark's Square, the Lion of St. Mark winged bronze statue (Rear L), gondolas and the Venetian lagoon in the distance after an exceptional overnight "Alta Acqua" high tide water level, on November 13, 2019 in Venice. Venice was hit by the highest tide in more than 50 years late November 12, with tourists wading through flooded streets to seek shelter as a fierce wind whipped up waves in St. Mark's Square. Marco Bertorello / AFP

A general view shows the Doge's Palace (L) overlooking the flooded St. Mark's Square, the Lion of St. Mark winged bronze statue (Rear L), gondolas and the Venetian lagoon in the distance after an exceptional overnight "Alta Acqua" high tide water level, on November 13, 2019 in Venice. Venice was hit by the highest tide in more than 50 years late November 12, with tourists wading through flooded streets to seek shelter as a fierce wind whipped up waves in St. Mark's Square. Marco Bertorello / AFP

People walk across the Ponte della Paglia bridge, past a stranded gondola after an exceptional overnight "Alta Acqua" high tide water level, early on November 13, 2019 in Venice. Powerful rainstorms hit Italy on November 12, with the worst affected areas in the south and Venice, where there was widespread flooding. Within a cyclone that threatens the country, exceptional high water were rising in Venice, with the sirocco winds blowing northwards from the Adriatic sea against the lagoon’s outlets and prevent

People walk across the Ponte della Paglia bridge, past a stranded gondola after an exceptional overnight "Alta Acqua" high tide water level, early on November 13, 2019 in Venice. Powerful rainstorms hit Italy on November 12, with the worst affected areas in the south and Venice, where there was widespread flooding. Within a cyclone that threatens the country, exceptional high water were rising in Venice, with the sirocco winds blowing northwards from the Adriatic sea against the lagoon’s outlets and preventing the water from flowing back into the sea. At 22:40pm the tide reached 183 cm, the second measure in history after the 198 cm of the 1966 flood. Marco Bertorello / AFP

A man stands by the entrance of the Palazzo Patriarcale on the flooded Piazza dei Leoncini square after an exceptional overnight "Alta Acqua" high tide water level, early on November 13, 2019 in Venice. Powerful rainstorms hit Italy on November 12, with the worst affected areas in the south and Venice, where there was widespread flooding. Within a cyclone that threatens the country, exceptional high water were rising in Venice, with the sirocco winds blowing northwards from the Adriatic sea against the lago

A man stands by the entrance of the Palazzo Patriarcale on the flooded Piazza dei Leoncini square after an exceptional overnight "Alta Acqua" high tide water level, early on November 13, 2019 in Venice. Powerful rainstorms hit Italy on November 12, with the worst affected areas in the south and Venice, where there was widespread flooding. Within a cyclone that threatens the country, exceptional high water were rising in Venice, with the sirocco winds blowing northwards from the Adriatic sea against the lagoon’s outlets and preventing the water from flowing back into the sea. At 22:40pm the tide reached 183 cm, the second measure in history after the 198 cm of the 1966 flood. Marco Bertorello / AFP

A man prepares a cigarette as he walks in the water of the flooded St. Mark's Square, on November 15, 2019 in Venice, two days after the city suffered its highest tide in 50 years. Flood-hit Venice was bracing for another exceptional high tide on November 15, as Italy declared a state of emergency for the UNESCO city where perilous deluges have caused millions of euros worth of damage. Filippo MONTEFORTE / AFP
Venice hit by another ferocious high tide, flooding city (Twitter)
People take pictures in a street near the Rialto Bridge, on November 15, 2019 in Venice, two days after the city suffered its highest tide in 50 years. Flood-hit Venice was bracing for another exceptional high tide on November 15, as Italy declared a state of emergency for the UNESCO city where perilous deluges have caused millions of euros worth of damage. Filippo MONTEFORTE / AFP
People sit on benches in a flooded arcade by St. Mark's Square on November 15, 2019 in Venice, two days after the city suffered its highest tide in 50 years. Flood-hit Venice was bracing for another exceptional high tide on November 15, as Italy declared a state of emergency for the UNESCO city where perilous deluges have caused millions of euros worth of damage. Filippo MONTEFORTE / AFP
A general view shows the flooded St. Mark's Square, with St. Mark's Basilica (C) on November 14, 2019 in Venice. Much of Venice was left under water after the highest tide in 50 years ripped through the historic Italian city, beaching gondolas, trashing hotels and sending tourists fleeing through rapidly rising waters. Filippo MONTEFORTE / AFP
The artwork by street artist Banksy, that portrays a migrant child wearing a lifejacket and holding a neon pink flare, is pictured after an exceptional overnight "Alta Acqua" high tide water level, on November 13, 2019 in Venice. Venice was hit by the highest tide in more than 50 years late November 12, with tourists wading through flooded streets to seek shelter as a fierce wind whipped up waves in St. Mark's Square. Marco Bertorello / AFP
People walk on a footbridge across a flooded street after an exceptional overnight "Alta Acqua" high tide water level, on November 13, 2019 in Venice. Venice was hit by the highest tide in more than 50 years late November 12, with tourists wading through flooded streets to seek shelter as a fierce wind whipped up waves in St. Mark's Square. Marco Bertorello / AFP
People walk across and take photos at the flooded St. Mark's Square after an exceptional overnight "Alta Acqua" high tide water level, on November 13, 2019 in Venice. Venice was hit by the highest tide in more than 50 years late November 12, with tourists wading through flooded streets to seek shelter as a fierce wind whipped up waves in St. Mark's Square. Marco Bertorello / AFP
A general view shows the Doge's Palace (L) overlooking the flooded St. Mark's Square, the Lion of St. Mark winged bronze statue (Rear L), gondolas and the Venetian lagoon in the distance after an exceptional overnight "Alta Acqua" high tide water level, on November 13, 2019 in Venice. Venice was hit by the highest tide in more than 50 years late November 12, with tourists wading through flooded streets to seek shelter as a fierce wind whipped up waves in St. Mark's Square. Marco Bertorello / AFP
People walk across the Ponte della Paglia bridge, past a stranded gondola after an exceptional overnight "Alta Acqua" high tide water level, early on November 13, 2019 in Venice. Powerful rainstorms hit Italy on November 12, with the worst affected areas in the south and Venice, where there was widespread flooding. Within a cyclone that threatens the country, exceptional high water were rising in Venice, with the sirocco winds blowing northwards from the Adriatic sea against the lagoon’s outlets and prevent
A man stands by the entrance of the Palazzo Patriarcale on the flooded Piazza dei Leoncini square after an exceptional overnight "Alta Acqua" high tide water level, early on November 13, 2019 in Venice. Powerful rainstorms hit Italy on November 12, with the worst affected areas in the south and Venice, where there was widespread flooding. Within a cyclone that threatens the country, exceptional high water were rising in Venice, with the sirocco winds blowing northwards from the Adriatic sea against the lago
A man prepares a cigarette as he walks in the water of the flooded St. Mark's Square, on November 15, 2019 in Venice, two days after the city suffered its highest tide in 50 years. Flood-hit Venice was bracing for another exceptional high tide on November 15, as Italy declared a state of emergency for the UNESCO city where perilous deluges have caused millions of euros worth of damage. Filippo MONTEFORTE / AFP
A man prepares a cigarette as he walks in the water of the flooded St. Mark's Square, on November 15, 2019 in Venice, two days after the city suffered its highest tide in 50 years. Flood-hit Venice was bracing for another exceptional high tide on November 15, as Italy declared a state of emergency for the UNESCO city where perilous deluges have caused millions of euros worth of damage. Filippo MONTEFORTE / AFP
Venice hit by another ferocious high tide, flooding city (Twitter)
Venice hit by another ferocious high tide, flooding city (Twitter)
People take pictures in a street near the Rialto Bridge, on November 15, 2019 in Venice, two days after the city suffered its highest tide in 50 years. Flood-hit Venice was bracing for another exceptional high tide on November 15, as Italy declared a state of emergency for the UNESCO city where perilous deluges have caused millions of euros worth of damage. Filippo MONTEFORTE / AFP
People take pictures in a street near the Rialto Bridge, on November 15, 2019 in Venice, two days after the city suffered its highest tide in 50 years. Flood-hit Venice was bracing for another exceptional high tide on November 15, as Italy declared a state of emergency for the UNESCO city where perilous deluges have caused millions of euros worth of damage. Filippo MONTEFORTE / AFP
People sit on benches in a flooded arcade by St. Mark's Square on November 15, 2019 in Venice, two days after the city suffered its highest tide in 50 years. Flood-hit Venice was bracing for another exceptional high tide on November 15, as Italy declared a state of emergency for the UNESCO city where perilous deluges have caused millions of euros worth of damage. Filippo MONTEFORTE / AFP
People sit on benches in a flooded arcade by St. Mark's Square on November 15, 2019 in Venice, two days after the city suffered its highest tide in 50 years. Flood-hit Venice was bracing for another exceptional high tide on November 15, as Italy declared a state of emergency for the UNESCO city where perilous deluges have caused millions of euros worth of damage. Filippo MONTEFORTE / AFP
A general view shows the flooded St. Mark's Square, with St. Mark's Basilica (C) on November 14, 2019 in Venice. Much of Venice was left under water after the highest tide in 50 years ripped through the historic Italian city, beaching gondolas, trashing hotels and sending tourists fleeing through rapidly rising waters. Filippo MONTEFORTE / AFP
A general view shows the flooded St. Mark's Square, with St. Mark's Basilica (C) on November 14, 2019 in Venice. Much of Venice was left under water after the highest tide in 50 years ripped through the historic Italian city, beaching gondolas, trashing hotels and sending tourists fleeing through rapidly rising waters. Filippo MONTEFORTE / AFP
The artwork by street artist Banksy, that portrays a migrant child wearing a lifejacket and holding a neon pink flare, is pictured after an exceptional overnight "Alta Acqua" high tide water level, on November 13, 2019 in Venice. Venice was hit by the highest tide in more than 50 years late November 12, with tourists wading through flooded streets to seek shelter as a fierce wind whipped up waves in St. Mark's Square. Marco Bertorello / AFP
The artwork by street artist Banksy, that portrays a migrant child wearing a lifejacket and holding a neon pink flare, is pictured after an exceptional overnight "Alta Acqua" high tide water level, on November 13, 2019 in Venice. Venice was hit by the highest tide in more than 50 years late November 12, with tourists wading through flooded streets to seek shelter as a fierce wind whipped up waves in St. Mark's Square. Marco Bertorello / AFP
People walk on a footbridge across a flooded street after an exceptional overnight "Alta Acqua" high tide water level, on November 13, 2019 in Venice. Venice was hit by the highest tide in more than 50 years late November 12, with tourists wading through flooded streets to seek shelter as a fierce wind whipped up waves in St. Mark's Square. Marco Bertorello / AFP
People walk on a footbridge across a flooded street after an exceptional overnight "Alta Acqua" high tide water level, on November 13, 2019 in Venice. Venice was hit by the highest tide in more than 50 years late November 12, with tourists wading through flooded streets to seek shelter as a fierce wind whipped up waves in St. Mark's Square. Marco Bertorello / AFP
People walk across and take photos at the flooded St. Mark's Square after an exceptional overnight "Alta Acqua" high tide water level, on November 13, 2019 in Venice. Venice was hit by the highest tide in more than 50 years late November 12, with tourists wading through flooded streets to seek shelter as a fierce wind whipped up waves in St. Mark's Square. Marco Bertorello / AFP
People walk across and take photos at the flooded St. Mark's Square after an exceptional overnight "Alta Acqua" high tide water level, on November 13, 2019 in Venice. Venice was hit by the highest tide in more than 50 years late November 12, with tourists wading through flooded streets to seek shelter as a fierce wind whipped up waves in St. Mark's Square. Marco Bertorello / AFP
A general view shows the Doge's Palace (L) overlooking the flooded St. Mark's Square, the Lion of St. Mark winged bronze statue (Rear L), gondolas and the Venetian lagoon in the distance after an exceptional overnight "Alta Acqua" high tide water level, on November 13, 2019 in Venice. Venice was hit by the highest tide in more than 50 years late November 12, with tourists wading through flooded streets to seek shelter as a fierce wind whipped up waves in St. Mark's Square. Marco Bertorello / AFP
A general view shows the Doge's Palace (L) overlooking the flooded St. Mark's Square, the Lion of St. Mark winged bronze statue (Rear L), gondolas and the Venetian lagoon in the distance after an exceptional overnight "Alta Acqua" high tide water level, on November 13, 2019 in Venice. Venice was hit by the highest tide in more than 50 years late November 12, with tourists wading through flooded streets to seek shelter as a fierce wind whipped up waves in St. Mark's Square. Marco Bertorello / AFP
People walk across the Ponte della Paglia bridge, past a stranded gondola after an exceptional overnight "Alta Acqua" high tide water level, early on November 13, 2019 in Venice. Powerful rainstorms hit Italy on November 12, with the worst affected areas in the south and Venice, where there was widespread flooding. Within a cyclone that threatens the country, exceptional high water were rising in Venice, with the sirocco winds blowing northwards from the Adriatic sea against the lagoon’s outlets and prevent
People walk across the Ponte della Paglia bridge, past a stranded gondola after an exceptional overnight "Alta Acqua" high tide water level, early on November 13, 2019 in Venice. Powerful rainstorms hit Italy on November 12, with the worst affected areas in the south and Venice, where there was widespread flooding. Within a cyclone that threatens the country, exceptional high water were rising in Venice, with the sirocco winds blowing northwards from the Adriatic sea against the lagoon’s outlets and preventing the water from flowing back into the sea. At 22:40pm the tide reached 183 cm, the second measure in history after the 198 cm of the 1966 flood. Marco Bertorello / AFP
A man stands by the entrance of the Palazzo Patriarcale on the flooded Piazza dei Leoncini square after an exceptional overnight "Alta Acqua" high tide water level, early on November 13, 2019 in Venice. Powerful rainstorms hit Italy on November 12, with the worst affected areas in the south and Venice, where there was widespread flooding. Within a cyclone that threatens the country, exceptional high water were rising in Venice, with the sirocco winds blowing northwards from the Adriatic sea against the lago
A man stands by the entrance of the Palazzo Patriarcale on the flooded Piazza dei Leoncini square after an exceptional overnight "Alta Acqua" high tide water level, early on November 13, 2019 in Venice. Powerful rainstorms hit Italy on November 12, with the worst affected areas in the south and Venice, where there was widespread flooding. Within a cyclone that threatens the country, exceptional high water were rising in Venice, with the sirocco winds blowing northwards from the Adriatic sea against the lagoon’s outlets and preventing the water from flowing back into the sea. At 22:40pm the tide reached 183 cm, the second measure in history after the 198 cm of the 1966 flood. Marco Bertorello / AFP