People in Venice were in for a surprise as heavy rainfall, and strong winds inundated parts of the northeastern Italian city. The city authorities failed to activate the newly installed flood barrier system in time, thus resulting in flooding.
Venice is known to witness floods at least 100 times a year. The residents once again readied themselves when the water entered the city on Tuesday. Floods waters did not spare the St Mark’s Basilica, located in the low-lying St Mark’s square. In many parts of the city, citizens faced water levels up to 1.37 metres above sea level. Reportedly, shopkeepers used wooden panels to prevent the water from entering their shops.
Authorities failing to activate the flood system on time is a huge let down to the citizens. Residents have voiced their anger for not activating the system on time. Many have said that they are aware of how the system works, and it was not used to stop the city from flooding on Tuesday. Since its induction, the system has been activated five times, including last week. Authorities have said that to start the system, a huge forecast is needed.
According to reports, on Tuesday, the system failed as the weather forecast predicted a water level rise of only 1.4 metres. Two months ago, the Italian authorities installed MOSE, an $8 billion (Rs 59,000 Crore) flood barrier system, to prevent Venice from flooding. Since its introduction, the system has managed to keep the city dry. The flood barrier system is designed to raise a barrier in 30 minutes and can protect the city from tides rising to 3 metres.
If the flood barrier is not activated on time, the city will face heavy damages. In the 2019 floods, the city incurred damages worth more than $1 billion. Reportedly, many UNESCO World Heritage tagged churches were damaged due to flooding.