What happened on 12 November 2019?

1966 high water

On Tuesday, 12 November 2019, Venice was hit with an “acqua alta”, or high water, of 187cm. This was the highest level since the 194cm witnessed in 1966, which was the highest tide of all times for high water in Venice.

A huge disaster, according to Luigi Brugnaro, mayor of Venice.

Among major and minor damages all along the city, the water penetrated into St. Mark Church as well as into many other historical and cultural sites. Commercial activities, hotels, bar and restaurants were also hit. Even some ferry boats were destroyed and at least one person died in the nearby island of Pellestrina.

For a better description of what happened, please check here.


What about the following days?

At least four tides above 140 cm followed that of 12 November, making it the worst period since 1872 when official statistics were first produced. Just to give you an idea, in 1872 it usually happened twice per year maximum.


What is doing Italy to save Venice?

Since 2003, a complex system of mobile flood barriers has been under construction. According to the project, it would be possible to isolate the lagoon from the sea in case of necessity in order to avoid high water tides.

Mobile dam venice
Magistrato alle Acque di Venezia – Consorzio Venezia Nuova

The project was called MOSE and it is possible to see it’s functioning here.

Unfortunately, the massive infrastructure has been plagued by cost overruns, corruption scandals and delays.

It should be finally completed in 2021.


What can you do for Venice?

When visiting Venice, please be always respectful of Venetians living there as we explain here, that would much help 🙂

In the following days, Venice has been flooded (this time in a positive way), by hundreds of volunteers that have helped venetians to clean the city.

volunteers in venice

If you feel generous and you want to donate, this is the official website page from the municipality, venetians would love that!