Published on Monday, November 12, 2012

Two thirds of Venice underwater

Around 70 per cent of central Venice is underwater with heavy rain and winds resulting in the sixth highest tide levels since 1872.

Italian news reports said north and central Italy was also affected with some 200 people evacuated from their homes in Tuscany.

Tourists in Venice were resorting to wellie boots and swimwear while most tourist hotspots were deserted.

The water levels rose to critical levels at the weekend with reports that 70% of central Venice was under water as the high tide mark reached more than 150cm, reports the Daily Mail.

Although flooding is common at this time of year, this is the sixth-highest since records began being kept 150 years ago.

Some holidaymakers were seen wading through nearly waist-high waters carrying suitcases on their shoulders.

A Visit Venice website said that wellie boots are provided in rental properties at this time of year because there may be '5-10cm of water on nearby pavements'.

But it showed that very high tides have only happened 14 times between 1923 and 2011, with 156cm recorded in 2008.

Venice is building the "Moses" flood gates, due for completion this year but which has been postponed until 2014, to stop these tides affecting the city.

The bad weather is said to be heading slowly towards the centre of the country and is set to hit Rome.

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  • Floods impacting Venice's tourism

    According to a recent analysis carried by ForwardKeys (which tracks air bookings made via GDS) "From 11th to 17th November, major floods in Venice caused 21% drop in international air arrivals vs 2011 levels. Severe rain has therefore impacted the otherwise growing flow of international visitors"

    By Maria Calvo, Monday, November 19, 2012

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