Tourists at sea as floods sweep Venice

People walk in the flooded Riva degli Schiavoni during a high-water (Acqua Alta) alert in Venice on October 29, 2018. The flooding, caused by a convergence of high tides and a strong Sirocco wind, reached around 150 centimetres on October 29

Rain-soaked tourists in Venice were barred from an inundated St. Mark’s Square on Monday, as fierce winds and rains lashing much of the country drenched the floating city.

As local authorities said the “acqua alta” (high water) peaked at 156 centimetres (61 inches) by early afternoon, the elevated wooden platforms usually placed on main passageways in the Renaissance city were not enough to ensure safe passage in the low-lying square.

Families carried children on their shoulders through the surrounding streets. While some tourists donned thigh-high wellies, others had opted to take off their shoes and wade through the water.

The waters have only topped 150 centimetres five times before in recorded history. In 1966, when floods swept through the country, famously devastating Florence’s historic centre, the waters reached 194 centimetres in Venice.


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