Venice hit by rare high tide, St Mark’s Square flooded

THE canal city of Venice, in Italy, has seen an unusual high tide in June, caused by the combination of low atmospheric pressure and the full moon. 

In November last year, Venice experienced its second-highest tide since records began, reaching 187cm. It caused extensive damage to the city’s historic buildings and to private property, with the hotel sector alone estimating repair costs of 30 million euros

June 4 saw famed St Mark’s Square completely underwater again, with the tide registering 110cm at 21.00. 

The event is relatively rare in June but can be caused, as in this case, by strong weather disturbances combined with a rising tide from the full moon. 

In the last 20 years, Venice has only seen high tides over 100cm in June four times, with the highest occurring on June 6, 2002 and reaching 121cm. Last night, the water stopped rising at 116cm. 

Venice’s flood sirens were activated and on the island of Pellestrina, one of the worst-hit by the November high tide, the Civil Protection were ready to give assistance. 

Italy opened to tourism from some EU states and the UK on June 3, and Venice is hoping to entice back visitors albeit not at the same unsustainable levels as pre-Covid-19.

Already, Venetians have been angered by two German tourists witnessed swimming in the Grand Canal, which is illegal. Italian newspaper La Repubblica has now shared a video of tourists dancing in flooded St Mark’s Square and drinking wine at the empty tables outside the historic cafès, suggesting the city’s disruptive tourism is sadly on the return.   

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Written by

Rebecca Ann Hughes

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