Italy battered by rain, Venice braces for another 'tough day'

Italy battered by rain, Venice braces for another 'tough day'

Tourists walk in St. Mark’s Square after days of severe flooding in Venice
Tourists walk in St. Mark’s Square after days of severe flooding in Venice, Italy, Nov 17, 2019. (Photo: Reuters/Manuel Silvestri) 

MILAN: Several Italian cities were on high alert on Sunday (Nov 17) after heavy rain overnight, including Venice where residents and tourists were braced for another exceptional high tide.

The city, which suffered its worst flooding in 50 years on Tuesday, will face a high tide at around 160cm at 1200 GMT, the city's centre for forecasting tides said.

Authorities in Florence and Pisa were also closely monitoring the Arno river, whose water levels rose rapidly in the night due to heavy rain.

Flooding in the lagoon city of Venice
A man pushes a cart through water during high tide in Venice, Italy Nov 17, 2019. (Photo: Reuters/Alberto Lingria)

Tourists walk in St. Mark’s Square after days of severe flooding in Venice
Tourists walk in St. Mark’s Square after days of severe flooding in Venice, Italy, November 17, 2019. (Photo: Reuters/Manuel Silvestri)

The mayor of Venice, Luigi Brugnaro, said on Saturday that the city was preparing for another "tough day". However, he said the situation was expected to be less dramatic than Tuesday when the flooding left squares, shops, homes and hotels inundated.

Brugnaro, who has been appointed special commissioner to deal with the emergency, estimated damages from the flooding in the city since Tuesday at around 1 billion euros (US$1.10 billion).

Flooding in the lagoon city of Venice
Men wade through water during high tide in Venice, Italy November 17, 2019. (Photo: Reuters/Alberto Lingria)

Flooding in the lagoon city of Venice
A hotel porter pushes a cart with luggage through water during high tide in Venice, Italy November 17, 2019. (Photo: Reuters/Alberto Lingria)

On Tuesday the tide peaked at 187cm at 10.50pm (2150 GMT), just short of the record 194cm set in 1966. In normal conditions, tides of 80-90cm are generally seen as high but manageable.

Italy's longest river, the Po, which runs across northern Italy passing through Turin, was also being monitored on Sunday after its level rose by a metre and a half in the last 24 hours due to heavy rain.

Source: Reuters/ad

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