The sunken Venice fears rising water levels again

Venice, already flooded, feared Sunday that the water level could rise again for the third time in less than a week after rising twice, prompting the city to be in an emergency.

After a brief break on Saturday, meteorological forecasters predicted the water level would rise to 1.6 meters midday on Sunday, a dangerous level.

The high tide on Friday reached 1.54 meters and closed the famous St. Mark's Square for several hours. On Tuesday evening, Venice witnessed the worst high tide in 53 years, reaching 1.87 meters, the second historical record after November 4, 1966 (1.94 meters). Hotels, museums, shops and churches were swept away in this UNESCO World Heritage City. The city sank 80 percent.

Most ATMs were out of service on Saturday.

"The gun is destroyed, there is a billion damage," said city mayor Luigi Brunaro.

The Italian football team visited the city on Saturday to express solidarity. "The gun will go beyond this like a seriously injured athlete and then get up again," said former international Gianluca Vialli.

"It's shocking to see the water reach the knees," said 19-year-old Mexican tourist Oscar Calzada.

Italian Culture Minister Dario Francesini, who on Friday inspected the damage, estimated the restoration work would be significant and more than 50 churches had been damaged.

Venice, home to 50,000 people, receives 36 million tourists a year, 90 percent of them foreigners.

Hotels have begun to suggest cancellations of year-end holidays.

"Venice is a unique place and it is the heritage of all. Thanks to your help, Venice will shine again," the mayor of Venice announced on Friday to open a bank account to collect contributions for the restoration of the city.

Residents whose homes have been damaged can request immediate government assistance worth 5,000 euros and traders can receive 20,000 euros in aid.

The government of Giuseppe Conte on Thursday evening declared a state of emergency in Venice and announced 20 million euros for "urgent interventions."

The state of emergency, often used in Italy because of frequent disasters (earthquakes, volcanic eruptions and landslides), gives the government "exceptional powers and capabilities."

The rifle, built on 118 islands, mostly artificial and on substrates, is constantly threatened with water.

Environment Minister Sergio Costa said the city's situation had been exacerbated by the change in weather, which was closer to tropical weather with heavy rain and strong winds, due to global warming.

Environmentalists also point to the expansion of the industrial port of Marghera, located off Venice, as well as the large number of cruise ships.

The record high tide on Tuesday led to the death of a seventieth, coup leaves and transport vessels.

Several officials, including the mayor, have called for the implementation of a barrier project "as soon as possible."

Launched in 2003 and delayed by errors and corruption investigations, the project is based on 78 floating barriers that block the lake if the water level in the Adriatic rises to three meters. According to Conte, the project is "93 percent ready" and "will be completed in the spring of 2021".

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