Venice, Most Iconic City in Italy, Is Sinking



A man paddles his canoe in a flooded St. Mark’s Square in Venice, Italy

Jeselyn Merino, Staff Writer

The city that everyone thinks about when they hear “Italy” is a floating city known as Venice, which is currently under water. On November 13, 2019, the water levels rose as high as up to six feet causing 80% of the city to be under water. The mayor declared a state of emergency due to how severe the flooding was. Floodwaters reached their highest in more than 50 years and the water is expected to leave a permanent mark.

Citizens and city officials are demanding that the government do better when it comes to climate change. The cost of these changes will be fairly high. One death has been reported due to the extreme flooding.

The floods were caused by high tides combining with strong winds that blow diagonally northeast on the Adriatic Sea.

St. Mark’s Basilica, a structure that dates back 1,000 years, has been flooded twice in the past two years. The flooding has caused hundreds of millions of damage to the beautiful art of Venice. The city of Venice has been building flood barriers since 2003, but officials fear that it may not be enough because the sea level of the Adriatic Sea is rising. The flood barriers were supposed to take 8 years to build, but now it is expected not to be ready until 2021 or 2022.

The latest Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Report states that sea levels will increase by 2- 3 1/2 feet if gas emissions continue to increase. In the first two decades of the 20th century, Venice saw high tides of more than 110 cm. five times. Two decades into the 21st century, Venice has seen the same high tides more than 130 times.

St. Mark’s Basilica in June, 2019            (Taken by Jeselyn Merino)