Nearly half of Venice underwater

November 30, 2009
People walk on a plateform on the flooded Piazza San Marco (St Mark's square) in Venice. Much of the historic Italian city of Venice, including St. Mark's Square, was underwater Monday following a meteorological depression combined with natural tide waters, officials said.

Much of the historic Italian city of Venice, including St. Mark's Square, was underwater Monday following a meteorological depression combined with natural tide waters, officials said.

The tide monitoring centre said 45 percent of the Renaissance city was swamped when the lagoon rose 131 centimetres (more than four feet).

Venice was flooded 50 times between 1993 and 2002, with the worst 'acqua alta' on November 4, 1966, when the city was submerged by 1.94 metres of water amid catastrophic flooding throughout the country.

In February 1986, levels reached 1.58 metres above normal, and in December 2008 waters surged 1.56 metres.

The city has for years been wrestling with the problems posed by the threat of rising sea levels. Last year local authorities confirmed they were looking at a scheme to raise the city's buildings to meet the problem.

Under Operation "Rialto", local officials and engineers were looking at using piston-supported-poles placed at the bottom of each structure to lift buildings by up to a metre.

In April 2007, the United Nations cultural organisation UNESCO warned that Venice was one of its designated World Heritage sites that was threatened by .

(c) 2009 AFP

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5 / 5 (1) Nov 30, 2009
But what if a meter isn't enough?
In fact, already it isn't since the increases were above that level. (unless i am reading it incorrectly, but it is still really pushing it)

Ideally it would be nice to have air-filled containers under the buildings and 4 guiding poles (or 2) to let it follow the height naturally.
This is obviously going to be bad if there was a storm, but this could be remedied by a sensor or 2 on the outside at a specific level and clamps to hold the building steady. If there is a specific pressure on the sensor (under water), release the clamps slowly.

And while it looks like a method like this won't work on buildings like the one pictured, remember that we have boats bigger than some towns that can easily float on water, we already mastered this problem.

It would be a shame to see "The Floating City" be swallowed by the sea.
5 / 5 (1) Nov 30, 2009
What about doing what the Dutch did with dikes? It must be easier to protect a single city as opposed to an entire country.
5 / 5 (1) Nov 30, 2009
This seems to be highlighting the fact that the flooding isn't as bad as it has been in the past.
not rated yet Dec 01, 2009
The Modulo Sperimentale Elettromeccanico project, which is an active sea wall, is projected for completion in 2012. First proposed in 1966, the environmental impact process ran until 2001. Construction started in 2003. It is intended to protect against surges of 3 meters.

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